The Sustainable Development Goals in Guyana
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth's environment, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. Kindly note that the data visualizations show an aggregate of the Caribbean. To view the disaggregated data for Guyana, please select it from the dropdown menu.
22 July 2021
UNICEF donates 2 million Water Purification Tablets for Flood Relief Effort in Guyana
Acting Representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Mr. Irfan Akhtar, on 20 July, 2021, handed over 2 million water purification tablets to the Civil Defence Commission (CDC). Mr. Akhtar stated that clean water is essential for life especially during times of flooding. The donation of the 2 million water purification tablets, which will treat 10 million litres of water, will ensure the provision of safe drinking water to thousands of Guyanese. The CDC is a valued partner of UNICEF and the organizations have worked together on many issues. The acting UNICEF Representative assured that support will continue to be provided once the need arises. “When the recent flooding disaster occurred, UNICEF recognized that children and families would be among the most affected and we immediately responded, based on the needs list issued by the CDC. We recognize that when children don’t have access to clean water, it affects their health, nutrition, education and learning abilities, thus impacting many aspects of their lives. Clean and safe water is essential for children’s health, survival and development,” said Mr. Akhtar. Accepting the donation was CDC’s Deputy Director General, Major Loring Benons, who lauded the sustained assistance from the United Nations in Guyana. Major Benons said that the water purification tablets play a very important role in response and recovery and the CDC will begin distributing the supplies to affected areas immediately. This donation of the water purification tablets complements emergency support provided by UNICEF through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security for flood relief. UNICEF has supported the Ministry to procure shelter supplies, WASH and hygiene kits, water storage containers, and some material for Child Friendly spaces. The CDC continues to work with Non-Governmental Organizations to provide relief to flood affected residents countrywide.
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14 July 2021
IOM trained Government officials on Essentials of Migration Management
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) concluded its ten-day workshop on the IOM Essentials of Migration Management 2.0 (EMM2.0) to Guyana government officials across several key stakeholder sectors. This workshop was hosted online and in-person, following COVID-19 guidelines, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, with additional participation from the Ministries of Amerindian Affairs, Home Affairs, and Parliamentary Affairs and Governance. The EMM2.0 is a global programme on migration management which provides online resources and foundational training to government officials and stakeholders dealing with migration. This training was made possible through IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program (WHP), generously funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). The EMM2.0 training workshop is designed to lend support to Governments that are committed to incorporating a migration framework into their national development plans. “Well-managed migration promotes economic growth and social enrichment in countries of origin, transit and destination. For the migrants, it offers broader horizons, and the opportunity to work towards a better future,” explained IOM Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean, Michele Klein Solomon at the launch of the training course. As one of the designers of the original EMM course, Solomon noted that the initiative does not aim to prescribe a “one-size-fits-all” approach to how countries implement migration management mechanisms. Instead, the course provided institutional guidance based on good practices. “The initiative offers accurate and up-to-date information, with an aim to contribute to a common understanding of migration management, grounded in international frameworks, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” added Solomon. Furthermore, it was noted by both IOM and the Government that there is a need to establish a balance between national interests and agreed upon-international commitments as they relate to migration governance. This training is part of a larger strategy that will contribute to crafting national responses to thematic areas in migration governance such as border management, labour migration, and migrant integration strategies. These responses would be dependent on the experience and guidance provided by those government officials participating in the training. Senior Ambassador Michael Brotherson, Director of Bilateral Affairs, within the Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Guyana welcomed the initiative as step in the right direction for addressing the migration dynamics in the country. He noted that this activity provided government officials the opportunity to increase their capacity to address migration management challenges and shape policies that will address this issue in the country’s new development phase. According to Legal Officer at the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, Miriam Andrew-Ming, the EMM workshop was extremely well-timed given the country’s current migration circumstances. She explained that her Ministry has a key role to play in migration management given the proximity that Indigenous Peoples’ villages have to the country’s borders and in hosting migrant populations. “The information becomes useful in terms of how we can strategically plan our work to impact migration,” shared Andrew Ming, “even though it does not directly affect [the Ministry], in a collaborative way we can work with other ministries that may have more of a direct line to migration issues.”
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16 July 2021
Specialized domestic violence interview and virtual hearing rooms opened at Leonora and Wales Magistrate’s Courts
Two specially equipped rooms to facilitate recording of interviews with domestic violence survivors in safety and comfort and which will also allow for such cases to be heard virtually, were opened on 12 July 2021 at the Leonora and Wales Magistrate’s Courts. The facilities are a joint initiative of the Supreme Court of Guyana and UNICEF. UNICEF Representative Nicolas Charles Pron joined Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, other senior judiciary officials, and Commissioner of Police Nigel Hoppie to launch the facilities, which will ensure that the rights of survivors of domestic abuse are protected and easier access to justice. UNICEF provided funding support as part of the organization’s multi-year investment to prevent and respond to violence against children and women in Guyana. UNICEF has committed to supporting the establishment of two additional facilities in the near term. Chancellor Cummings-Edwards, in her address, highlighted that there have been sensitization and awareness training on domestic violence and to put the training into action, there must be facilities to complement. “There must be facilities in place for victims or survivors to report and give their evidence and to be assured of an environment that does not create injustice when they seek justice,” said the Chancellor. “The intent behind these facilities would be for the victims, instead of going into the court offices or going into the courtroom, they will come to the interview rooms and our staff will be present there and if needs be, any probation or social worker, and there they can make their application for whatever protective order…they are seeking.” The Chancellor added that as it relates to court cases, rather than having to face the public or the perpetrator, domestic violence survivors can have their matters heard from the same facility virtually. She highlighted that the courts have seen an increase in domestic violence matters during the COVID-19 pandemic. “To eradicate this ill from our culture and even to curb the behaviour associated with the infliction of domestic violence and abuse, UNICEF has collaborated with the Supreme Court to have interview rooms and virtual hearing rooms that are secured, private, comfortable and away from the glare and the stare of the perpetrator and even members of the public,” Chancellor Cummings-Edwards said. UNICEF Representative Pron, meantime, highlighted, that the opening of the facilities is a great stride forward in protecting the rights of survivors of domestic abuse and ensuring access to justice. “I hope that these interview rooms will give survivors, including children, greater confidence that their rights will be protected, and justice served. The judiciary is one of our strongest partners in ensuring the rights of children and women are protected. We are heartened by their commitment and drive to ensure that every child is able to grow up in a world free of violence,” said Pron. Chief Justice George-Wiltshire highlighted the importance of ensuring that survivors are not revictimized. “Court customers who interface with our judicial system for domestic violence and family court cases come to our courts because in many instances they are experiencing trauma. It is incumbent on us to be able to empathize with and not revictimize or retraumatize these persons…To respond effectively we need to do so in a confidential and comfortable environment so we have seen the need to have rooms dedicated to domestic violence cases,” the Chief Justice said. She pointed out that at the newer magistrate’s courts, such facilities are in place but not in the older courts. “Once again our committed and trusted partner UNICEF has collaborated with us in funding and ensuring this new initiative is up and running,” the Chief Justice added. Meanwhile, Commissioner Hoppie welcomed the initiative and noted that the police are also taking action to ensure that the rights of survivors of domestic violence are safeguarded. “…it is with great pleasure therefore that I note that this provision of a conducive atmosphere for the effective dealing with domestic violence by the legal system is today being taken a step further through the provision of separate rooms in two magistrate’s courts where victims can now make their applications and give their testimony virtually and privately. This is additional proof of the intention to forge ahead with the strengthening of capacity to deal with domestic violence in our country,” said the police commissioner. The new facilities are part of UNICEF’s multi-year investment to prevent and respond to violence against children and women. In recent years, UNICEF has supported specialized services such as the Sexual Offences Courts, the Family Court, the Children’s Court and programmes such as the Child Advocacy Centres and Community Advocates Programmes, with State and NGO partners. This year, under the Spotlight Initiative to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, and with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, UNICEF is working in the area of policy and legal reforms, including reviewing the legislation on Domestic Violence and costing the Plans of Action for Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence. ### About UNICEF UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org. Follow UNICEF Guyana-Suriname Twitter: @UNICEFGUYSUR Facebook https://www.facebook.com/UNICEFGuyanaSuriname/ Website https://www.unicef.org/guyanasuriname/ For more information please contact: Gaulbert Sutherland, UNICEF Guyana-Suriname (Communications), email@example.com
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22 June 2021
Focus on land restoration, sustainable use for post COVID-19 recovery
UNCCD 2021 focuses on land restoration as a means that can bring economic resilience, create jobs, raise income, increase food security and lessen the impact of climate change. The UNCCD also promotes land restoration as a cost-effective approach to start a green economic recovery post COVID-19. This idea encourages careful consideration for sustainable management and use of land to rebuild from the pandemic. The UNCCD identifies land use change as a driver for emerging infectious diseases, and notes that the rate of land conversion is accelerating. Adopted on June 17, 1994 in Paris and entered into force on December 26, 1996, the UNCCD is a globally recognized legally binding agreement to address land degradation, focused on people. Some 195 countries including Guyana are committed to the UNCCD. Guyana ratified the Convention on June 26, 1997, and joined the global community on September 24, 1997 in recognizing desertification/degradation as a major economic, social and environmental problem. The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) – National Focal Point Agency The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) is the National Focal Point Agency to the UNCCD, and has led various actions and initiatives enabling Guyana to combine international obligations with national development agenda and sectoral planning. While this allows the country to meet global commitments, it provides a national response to economic, social and environmental effects of degradation on land use, livelihood and human development. According to Guyana’s National Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme Report (2017-2030), land degradation in Guyana is caused by natural resource utilization and natural disasters in sporadic areas. It also recognizes that the country’s coastline is prone to erosion, along with saltwater intrusion and flooding, and losses of arable land due to floods and droughts. Further, it is acknowledged that human activities which result in pollution, removal of mangroves, urbanization and sea-level rise associated with climate change have all contributed in some way to coastal degradation. Against this background, Guyana’s National Action Plan (NAP), originally prepared in 2006, led by the GLSC, guides implementation of local actions against desertification/land degradation and to promote sustainable land management. The Aligned NAP aims to ensure agricultural, pasture, mining, forest, coastal and other land uses and resources are managed as sustainable, productive systems that maintain ecosystem productivity and ecological functions while contributing directly to environmental protection, economic growth and social livelihoods. The Aligned NAP seeks to improve institutional capacity and collaboration between state agencies especially those administering land and natural resources use; training in remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS) and information management systems/information technology among others; mainstreaming Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) into relevant national policies, strategies and plans; and finalization of National Land Policy. Additional targets include mainstreaming Sustainable Land Management (SLM) within educational establishments and enhancing knowledge and capacity of miners/land users to perform ecologically appropriate land restoration. Drought preparedness and restoration The NAP is one of two main UNCCD obligations. The other requires periodic UNCCD reporting, an activity also guided by the GLSC. Guyana has to date prepared eight (8) national UNCCD reports – in 2000, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018. Additionally, Guyana developed a National Drought Mitigation and Adaptation Plan that caters for proactive, coordinated and effective planning, preparedness, mitigation, adaptation and recovery activities in response to drought risks and impacts. This included development of a Drought Early Warning System Protocol for Guyana. Further, Guyana implemented the LDN Target Setting Programme and voluntarily set targets and measures focused on avoidance rehabilitation, restoration and sustainable land management and use. Areas of attention include enabling sustainable agriculture, preservation of biodiversity through expansion of protected areas; improved management of irrigation, drainage and flooding; coastal protection through mangrove restoration and rehabilitation of degraded area. SLDM Project and support for UNCCD Meanwhile, as the national executing agency and a main beneficiary of Guyana’s Sustainable Land Development and Management (SLDM) Project, GLSC and the country is being supported to meet UNCCD commitments. This is being done through a series of investments and activities to improve GLSC’s functions by building its technical and institutional capacity. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the implementing agency for the SLDM project working in close collaboration with the GLSC. A key state institution, GLSC’s functions include responsibility for advising government on land policies, management of state lands, issuance of land titles and leases, provision of support for land use development, collection of land rents and land management related fees. The SLDM project, as a comprehensive initiative aimed at supporting Guyana in developing a coordinated and cohesive system for sustainable land management and development, includes activities that would enhance GLSC’s functions in areas of land administration, surveying, mapping, business processes, monitoring and assessment and restoration of degraded lands, GIS among others.
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22 June 2021
Guyana launches Study of the socio-economic impact of the closure of GUYSUCO sugar estates on workers
The Study explores the magnitude of the shutdown on income generation and earning activities for workers and recommends options for an effective revitalization of the sector and employment. Officially launched on 10 June during a high-level virtual ceremony hosted by the ILO, the Study of the socio-economic impact of the closure of GUYSUCO sugar estates on sugar workers serves as a response to the situation through a “sustainable livelihoods” framework and takes into consideration social safety and support instruments provided by the Government after the halt in production. “The Study is an undertaking in response to a collective request from the tripartite partners in Guyana to the ILO to not only highlight the socio-economic consequences of the closure of the sugar estates but also to provide information to help with their decision-making to design programmes that mitigate the consequences for affected workers. I therefore hope as we launch this report that we have succeeded to meet this need,” said Dennis Zulu, Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, during his opening remarks. At the time of the 2016 – 2017 closing of the Wales, East Demerara, Rose Hall and Skeldon sugar estates, GUYSUCO was the largest employer in the country with a staff of 16,000 and around 160,000 people (one fifth of the population) indirectly dependent on its operations. However sugar, largely produced for an export market, often struggled to garner sufficient demand and maintain competitiveness in global markets. The drastic decline in exports from USD123 million in 2011 to USD49 million in 2017 and USD27.7 million in 2019 reflect the challenges faced by the state-owned sugar industry, managed by GUYSUCO. “The Study offers many lessons for policymaking and implementation in economic diversification and social services. It underlines the importance of stakeholder consultation and engagement in decision-making. I hope that it can inform decisions on the future of the sugar industry and the broader food industry,” said Mikiko Tanaka, United Nations Resident Coordinator for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. “Food systems is an area of economic transformation that holds high potential for Guyana’s Sustainable Development Goal pathway. As the UN system and the Government jointly strategize its future cooperation in Guyana, we will closely examine how we can support the development of the food value chain in a way that generates decent work and leaves no one behind.” Research conducted through the Study found that the livelihoods of sugar workers who were laid off were severely compromised. Concerns faced by workers included feelings that they were too advanced in age to be considered by new employers (especially in the context of wider unemployment in the country), children still at school, and the ability to use skills outside of GUYSUCO. The Honourable Ashni Singh, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance spoke at the event on behalf of His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. During his feature remarks, he quoted from the Study to illustrate the depth of the damages caused by the cease in operations. “GUYSUCO was however more than the estates of which it was comprised. Beyond the national significance of the company as an aggregate of its various operations and estates, and beyond the significance of each estate for the workers and immediate communities that were directly connected with it, was the significance of each estate to a sub-regional economy and even a subsection of society that developed around that estate,” stated Minister Singh. Dr. Thomas B. Singh, Director of the GREEN Institute of the University of Guyana and author of the Study provided guidance for restoring the profitability of the sugar industry and the livelihoods of workers. Most notably, he recommended complementary investments in cellulosic ethanol production using sugar cane to advance green economy policies that promote sustainable and inclusive growth and commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement. “This will add renewable energy as a major component of Guyana’s energy portfolio, creating jobs. It will secure technology transfer and local content from major oil companies engaged in advanced biofuel research to provide skills for cellulosic ethanol production so that Guyana can reduce carbon emissions even as it becomes a major oil producer,” explained Dr Singh. President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) Seepaul Narine noted the value of the research to find collective solutions. “The Report covers a range of issues and sought a comprehensive examination and more importantly the effects of estate closures. It points to several possibilities for the industry’s long-term viability. We are hopeful that GUYSUCO and our policymakers sincerely consider them,” he said during his speech. The Study of the socio-economic impact of the closure of GUYSUCO sugar estates on sugar workers was made possible through the ILO Caribbean Resilience Project, a two-year programme of targeted technical assistance for a just transition to environmentally sustainable economies in the context of climate change adaptation. For more information about the Project, visit: https://www.ilo.org/caribbean/projects/WCMS_714015/lang--en/index.htm. The ILO is committed to continuing to support trade unions in Guyana, including capacity building for digitalization skills so that they can emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic prepared for more innovative and sustainable labour markets. The support will be provided through the framework of the current Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) and beyond.
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22 January 2021
26 November 2020
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