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UNFPA in Guyana has supported the provision of a strengthened package of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services, for Venezuelan migrants and refugees and returning Guyanese as well as members of the Guyanese host communities. This has resulted in 7,711 Venezuelan migrant and refugee women of reproductive age benefiting from enhanced access to life-saving SRH information and services  as well as enhanced access to coordinated and quality survivor-centered, multi sectoral services and referral systems to prevent and respond to GBV.

The packages and services were delivered in both English and Spanish. This has allowed for the provision of integrated SRH and GBV services, which ensured the provision of life-saving information and safe referrals of GBV survivors. As part of this partnership with the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association and the Ministry of Health, capacity building of health providers in the clinical management of rape and intimate partner violence and strengthening their skills on working with survivors was conducted. The partnership with Guyana allowed for capacity building in the clinical management of rape and intimate partner violence as well as the strengthening of skills on working with survivors. The partnership with Guyana Women Miners Organization allowed for the expansion of the coverage of the provision of remote and in-person  GBV psychosocial support services, GBV prevention and awareness campaigns in the target administrative regions, and remote and in-person GBV case management  services (inclusive of support to GBV survivors  for emergency transport from the mining camps, the provision of  shelter, and  referrals for the provision of sexual and reproductive health services including clinical management of rape); ensuring the provision of life-saving GBV case management services to respond to GBV.

Guyana continues to receive an increasing number of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, as well as Guyanese returnees due to the ongoing humanitarian emergency in the country. Available estimates indicate that there are around 36,400 Venezuelans and returning Guyanese who have temporarily settled in Guyana and are in need of assistance and protection. An Inter-Agency GBV assessment conducted by UNFPA and other partners in 2019 showed that Venezuelan women and girls face high levels of GBV and barriers to access to SRH services. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key findings from a GBV assessment conducted by UNFPA revealed that access to health services for rape survivors, survivors of intimate partner violence and sex workers was identified as a gap, especially the access to clinical management of rape (CMR) services, which must take place within 72 hours after a sexual violence assault.  CMR includes a set of interventions such as the prevention/treatment of STIs, including HIV, care of wounds and provide tetanus prophylaxis (within 24h), pregnancy prevention including access to emergency contraception and access to abortion services following an unwanted pregnancy  and referral for further services, such as other health, psychological, and social services.   Even though some hospitals do have the medical supplies to respond to rape, none of the clinicians interviewed as part of the UNFPA led assessment in November, 2019, had received a training on the provision of CMR. There is an immediate need to ensure SRH services are made available for all women and girls, in a non-discriminatory way and ensuring a survivor-friendly clinical care.

Contraceptives, testing and treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are available for free in most hospitals assessed. Nevertheless, a number of Venezuelan women reported they only receive condoms and are told that other medicines and treatments are in short supply and are not available to them.  
There are increasing concerns among providers of GBV prevention and response services that the current lock-down measures associated with COVID-19 are creating tensions within homes that may lead to increasing incidences of GBV. This applies to both the Guyanese host communities/population as well as to the Venezuelan migrants and refugees, who are even more adversely affected as a result of the pre-existing vulnerabilities that they are faced with (as previously identified in UNFPA led GBV assessments, as highlighted in the table 1 above). The interventions supported by UNFPA sought to address the concerns and gaps identified.