Introduction

South America :: Guyana

Background:
Originally a Dutch colony in the 17th century, by 1815 Guyana had become a British possession. The abolition of slavery led to black settlement of urban areas and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. The resulting ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved independence from the UK in 1966, and since then it has been ruled mostly by socialist-oriented governments. In 1992, Cheddi JAGAN was elected president in what is considered the country's first free and fair election since independence. After his death five years later, his wife, Janet JAGAN, became president but resigned in 1999 due to poor health. Her successor, Bharrat JAGDEO, was reelected in 2001 and again in 2006. Donald RAMOTAR was elected president in 2011.

Geography

Location:
Northern South America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela

Geographic coordinates:
5 00 N, 59 00 W

Map references:
South America

Area:
Total: 214,969 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 85
Land: 196,849 sq km
Water: 18,120 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Idaho

Land boundaries:
Total: 2,949 km
Border countries: Brazil 1,606 km, Suriname 600 km, Venezuela 743 km

Coastline:
459 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the outer edge of the continental margin

Climate:
tropical; hot, humid, moderated by northeast trade winds; two rainy seasons (May to August, November to January)

Terrain:
mostly rolling highlands; low coastal plain; savanna in south

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Roraima 2,835 m

Natural resources:
bauxite, gold, diamonds, hardwood timber, shrimp, fish

Land use:
Arable land: 1.95%
Permanent crops: 0.13%
Other: 97.92% (2011)

Irrigated land:
1,501 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
241 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 1.64 cu km/yr (4%/1%/94%)
Per capita: 2,222 cu m/yr (2010)

Natural hazards:
flash flood threat during rainy seasons

Environment - current issues:
water pollution from sewage and agricultural and industrial chemicals; deforestation

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; substantial portions of its western and eastern territories are claimed by Venezuela and Suriname respectively

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Guyanese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Guyanese

Ethnic groups:
East Indian 43.5%, black (African) 30.2%, mixed 16.7%, Amerindian 9.1%, other 0.5% (2002 census)

Languages:
English, Amerindian dialects, Creole, Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Urdu

Religions:
Protestant 30.5% (Pentecostal 16.9%, Anglican 6.9%, Seventh-Day Adventist 5%, Methodist 1.7%), Hindu 28.4%, Roman Catholic 8.1%, Jehovah's Witnesses 1.1%, Muslim 7.2%, other Christian 17.7%, other 4.3%, none 4.3% (2002 census)

Demographic profile:
Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America and shares cultural and historical bonds with the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana's two largest ethnic groups are the Afro-Guyanese (descendants of African slaves) and the Indo-Guyanese (descendants of Indian indentured laborers), which together comprise about three quarters of Guyana's population. Tensions periodically have boiled over between the two groups, which back ethnically based political parties and vote along ethnic lines. Poverty reduction has stagnated since the late 1990s. About one-third of the Guyanese population lives below the poverty line; indigenous people are disproportionately affected. Although Guyana's literacy rate is reported to be among the highest in the Western Hemisphere, the level of functional literacy is considerably lower, which has been attributed to poor education quality, teacher training, and infrastructure.
Guyana's emigration rate is among the highest in the world - more than 55% of its citizens reside abroad - and it is one of the largest recipients of remittances relative to GDP among Latin American and Caribbean counties. Although remittances are a vital source of income for most citizens, the pervasive emigration of skilled workers deprives Guyana of professionals in healthcare and other key sectors. More than 80% of Guyanese nationals with tertiary level educations have emigrated. Brain drain and the concentration of limited medical resources in Georgetown hamper Guyana's ability to meet the health needs of its predominantly rural population. Guyana has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the region and continues to rely on international support for its HIV treatment and prevention programs.

Population:
739,903 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.2% (male 113,724/female 109,643)
15-24 years: 20.7% (male 78,798/female 74,202)
25-54 years: 36.9% (male 138,167/female 134,695)
55-64 years: 7.2% (male 22,772/female 30,358)
65 years and over: 5.1% (male 15,276/female 22,268) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 65.3 %
Youth dependency ratio: 59.6 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 5.7 %
Potential support ratio: 17.7 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 24.5 years
Male: 23.7 years
Female: 25.3 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.21% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 214

Birth rate:
16.31 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 123

Death rate:
7.18 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 126

Net migration rate:
-11.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 214

Urbanization:
Urban population: 29% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 0.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
GEORGETOWN (capital) 132,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.75 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
20.8
note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2009 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
280 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 42

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 34.45 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 66
Male: 38.59 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 30.09 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 67.68 years
Country comparison to the world: 162
Male: 63.83 years
Female: 71.72 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.21 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 101

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
42.5% (2009)

Health expenditures:
5.4% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 123

Physicians density:
0.59 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density:
2.51 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 98% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 94% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 2% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 6% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 88% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 84% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 12% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 16% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.2% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 40

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
5,900 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 117

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 500 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 92

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
17.2% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 113

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
11.1% (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 66

Education expenditures:
3.6% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 123

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over has ever attended school
Total population: 91.8%
Male: 92%
Female: 91.6% (2002 Census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 11 years
Male: 10 years
Female: 11 years (2011)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 30,255
Percentage: 16 % (2006 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 46.05%
Country comparison to the world: 8
Male: 43.59%
Female: 50% (2011)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Conventional short form: Guyana
Former: British Guiana

Government type:
republic

Capital:
Name: Georgetown
Geographic coordinates: 6 48 N, 58 09 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
10 regions; Barima-Waini, Cuyuni-Mazaruni, Demerara-Mahaica, East Berbice-Corentyne, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, Mahaica-Berbice, Pomeroon-Supenaam, Potaro-Siparuni, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo

Independence:
26 May 1966 (from the UK)

National holiday:
Republic Day, 23 February (1970)

Constitution:
6 October 1980

Legal system:
common law system, based on the English model, with some Roman-Dutch civil law influence

International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Donald RAMOTAR (since 03 December 2011);
Head of government: Prime Minister Samuel HINDS (since October 1992, except for a period as chief of state after the death of President Cheddi JAGAN on 6 March 1997)
Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president, responsible to the legislature
Elections: president elected by popular vote as leader of a party list in parliamentary elections, which must be held at least every five years (no term limits); elections last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be called by December 2016); prime minister appointed by the president
Election results: Donald RAMOTAR elected president, percent of vote 48.6%

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; members elected by popular vote, also not more than 4 non-elected non-voting ministers and 2 non-elected non-voting parliamentary secretaries appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 28 November 2011 (next to be held by November 2016)
Election results: percent of vote by party - PPP/C 48.6%, APNU 40%, AFC 10.3%, other 1.1%; seats by party - PPP/C 32, APNU 26, AFC 7

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court of Judicature (consists of the Court of Appeal with a chief justice and 3 justices, and the High Court with a chief justice and 10 justices organized into 3- or 5-judge panels)
note - in 2009, Guyana ceased final appeals in civil and criminal cases to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (in London), replacing it with the Caribbean Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the Caribbean Community
Judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court chief justices appointed by the president; other judges of both courts appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a body appointed by the president; judges appointed for life with retirement at age 65
Subordinate courts: Land Court; magistrates' courts

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Change or AFC [Khemraj RAMJATTAN]
Justice for All Party [C.N. SHARMA]
A Partnership for National Unity or APNU [David GRANGER]
People's Progressive Party/Civic or PPP/C [Donald RAMOTAR]
Rise, Organize, and Rebuild or ROAR [Ravi DEV]
The United Force or TUF [Manzoor NADIR]
The Unity Party [Joey JAGAN]
Vision Guyana [Peter RAMSAROOP]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Amerindian People's Association
Guyana Bar Association
Guyana Citizens Initiative
Guyana Human Rights Association
Guyana Public Service Union or GPSU
Private Sector Commission
Trades Union Congress

International organization participation:
ACP, AOSIS, C, Caricom, CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIC, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Bayney KARRAN
Chancery: 2490 Tracy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 265-6900
FAX: [1] (202) 232-1297
Consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador D. Brent HARDT
Embassy: US Embassy, 100 Young and Duke Streets, Kingston, Georgetown
Mailing address: P. O. Box 10507, Georgetown; US Embassy, 3170 Georgetown Place, Washington DC 20521-3170
Telephone: [592] 225-4900 through 4909
FAX: [592] 225-8497

National symbol(s):
Canje pheasant (hoatzin); jaguar

National anthem:
Name: "Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains"

Lyrics/music: Archibald Leonard LUKERL/Robert Cyril Gladstone POTTER
note: adopted 1966

Economy

Economy - overview:
The Guyanese economy exhibited moderate economic growth in recent years and is based largely on agriculture and extractive industries. The economy is heavily dependent upon the export of six commodities - sugar, gold, bauxite, shrimp, timber, and rice - which represent nearly 60% of the country's GDP and are highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions and fluctuations in commodity prices. Guyana's entrance into the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) in January 2006 has broadened the country''s export market, primarily in the raw materials sector. Guyana has experienced positive growth almost every year over the past decade. Inflation has been kept under control. Recent years have seen the government''s stock of debt reduced significantly - with external debt now less than half of what it was in the early 1990s. Chronic problems include a shortage of skilled labor and a deficient infrastructure. Despite recent improvements, the government is still juggling a sizable external debt against the urgent need for expanded public investment. In March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana''s principal donor, canceled Guyana''s nearly $470 million debt, equivalent to 21% of GDP, which along with other Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) debt forgiveness brought the debt-to-GDP ratio down from 183% in 2006 to 120% in 2007. Guyana became heavily indebted as a result of the inward-looking, state-led development model pursued in the 1970s and 1980s. Growth slowed in 2009 as a result of the world recession, but picked up in 2010-11, before slowing again in 2012, as a result of a second recession, this focused mainly in Europe. The slowdown in the domestic economy and lower import costs has helped to narrow the country''s current account deficit, despite generally lower earnings from exports.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$6.256 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164
$6.054 billion (2011 est.)
$5.741 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$2.788 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 101
5.4% (2011 est.)
4.4% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$8,100 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 132
$7,800 (2011 est.)
$7,400 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
10.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 124
11.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
18.3% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 82.2%
Government consumption: 14.5%
Investment in fixed capital: 21.6%
Investment in inventories: -9.1%
Exports of goods and services: 63.5%
Imports of goods and services: -72.7%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 20%
Industry: 34.8%
Services: 45.2% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, rice, edible oils; beef, pork, poultry; shrimp, fish

Industries:
bauxite, sugar, rice milling, timber, textiles, gold mining

Industrial production growth rate:
6% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 44

Labor force:
313,100 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 164

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: NA%
Industry: NA%
Services: NA%

Unemployment rate:
11% (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 118

Population below poverty line:
35% (2006)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 1.3%
Highest 10%: 33.8% (1999)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
44.6 (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 44
43.2 (1999)

Budget:
Revenues: $641 million
Expenditures: $806.4 million (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
23% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-5.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Public debt:
66.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 42
62.1% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 94
2.6% (2011 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
5.5% (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89
4.25% (31 December 2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
13.9% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 50
14.45% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$550.4 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 158
$477.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$1.696 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154
$1.499 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$1.223 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 153
$1.122 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$440.4 million (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 111
$339.8 million (31 December 2010)
$287 million (31 December 2009)

Current account balance:
-$324.8 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 85
-$307.2 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$1.311 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 151
$1.182 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
sugar, gold, bauxite, alumina, rice, shrimp, molasses, rum, timber

Exports - partners:
US 29.7%, Canada 27.8%, UK 5.9%, Trinidad and Tobago 4.2%, Jamaica 4.1% (2012)

Imports:
$2.065 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165
$1.772 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
manufactures, machinery, petroleum, food

Imports - partners:
Trinidad and Tobago 23.2%, US 21.3%, China 11.8%, Cuba 6.4%, Suriname 4.3% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$864 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 139
$801.8 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.846 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 145
$1.234 billion (31 December 2010)

Exchange rates:
Guyanese dollars (GYD) per US dollar -
204.36 (2012 est.)
204.02 (2011 est.)
203.64 (2010 est.)
203.95 (2009)
203.86 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
817 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Electricity - consumption:
683 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 204

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 196

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
343,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 146

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
99.7% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 52

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 102

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 146

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 136

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 143

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 121

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 195

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 186

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
10,910 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 151

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 184

Refined petroleum products - imports:
10,680 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 131

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 140

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 112

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 203

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 145

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
1.52 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 153

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
152,600 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 134

Telephones - mobile cellular:
528,800 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 165

Telephone system:
General assessment: fair system for long-distance service; microwave radio relay network for trunk lines; many areas still lack fixed-line telephone services
Domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 20 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular teledensity about 70 per 100 persons in 2011
International: country code - 592; tropospheric scatter to Trinidad; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media:
government-dominated broadcast media; the National Communications Network (NCN) TV is state-owned; a few private TV stations relay satellite services; the state owns and operates 2 radio stations broadcasting on multiple frequencies capable of reaching the entire country; government limits on licensing of new private radio stations continue to constrain competition in broadcast media (2007)

Internet country code:
.gy

Internet hosts:
24,936 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 112

Internet users:
189,600 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 142

Transportation

Airports:
117 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 50

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 8 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 106
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 16
Under 914 m:
89 (2013)

Roadways:
Total: 7,970 km
Country comparison to the world: 140
Paved: 590 km
Unpaved: 7,380 km (2000)

Waterways:
330 km (the Berbice, Demerara, and Essequibo rivers are navigable by oceangoing vessels for 150 km, 100 km, and 80 km respectively) (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 92

Merchant marine:
Total: 10
Country comparison to the world: 114
By type: cargo 7, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1
Registered in other countries: 3 (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 2, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Georgetown

Military

Military branches:
Guyana Defense Force: Army (includes Air Corps, Coast Guard) (2012)

Military service age and obligation:
16 years of age or younger for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 189,840 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 133,239
Females age 16-49: 147,719 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 8,849
Female: 8,460 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
1.9% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 73

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
all of the area west of the Essequibo River is claimed by Venezuela preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; Suriname claims a triangle of land between the New and Kutari/Koetari rivers in a historic dispute over the headwaters of the Courantyne; Guyana seeks arbitration under provisions of the UNCLOS to resolve the long-standing dispute with Suriname over the axis of the territorial sea boundary in potentially oil-rich waters

Trafficking in persons:
Current situation: Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Guyanese and foreign women and girls are forced into prostitution in Guyana; experts are concerned that Guyanese children are subjected to exploitive labor practices in the mining, agriculture, and forestry sectors; Indonesian workers are victims of forced labor on Guyanese-flagged fishing boats
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; despite some progress in identifying and assisting some trafficking victims, the government has failed to increase its efforts to hold trafficking offenders accountable with jail time, creating an enabling environment for human trafficking; public comments from the government downplaying the scope of Guyana's trafficking problem diminishes the potential impact of its awareness campaigns; authorities operate a hotline for trafficking victims and conduct several awareness and sensitization sessions that target vulnerable communities (2013)

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for narcotics from South America - primarily Venezuela - to Europe and the US; producer of cannabis; rising money laundering related to drug trafficking and human smuggling

Flag of Guyana



Flag description:
green, with a red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) superimposed on a long, yellow arrowhead; there is a narrow, black border between the red and yellow, and a narrow, white border between the yellow and the green; green represents forest and foliage; yellow stands for mineral resources and a bright future; white symbolizes Guyana's rivers; red signifies zeal and the sacrifice of the people; black indicates perseverance