Guyanese Diaspora Project Launched in Canada

Canada – IOM and the Government of Guyana this week launched in Canada the Guyana Diaspora (GUYD) project, designed to contribute to the economic development of Guyana through the support and engagement of the Guyanese Diaspora.  

The project, created in collaboration with the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is a one-year initiative which began in April 2012 that seeks to engage the Guyanese Diaspora all over the world by documenting skills, resources, interests and plans of those willing to support the country’s development.
This week’s launch in Toronto was attended by some 300 members of the Guyanese diaspora, including diaspora groups, associations, and organizations.

The GUYD project was launched in New York in September and since then 220 members of the Guyanese diaspora in New York have fully completed an online survey and 970 have partially completed it.

The project was also launched in Barbados on 26 November and Antigua and Barbuda on 28 November, with than 150 members of the Guyanese diaspora in attendance.

Information packages about the project including posters, bumper stickers, information sheets, and brochures were distributed to individuals and groups/associations/ organizations present at the launches, as well as in Guyanese consular offices.

An assessment is currently underway to determine the existing skills, gaps, and needs in Guyana.   The information will be used to facilitate possible matching of diaspora skills with needs and gaps in the private and public sectors in Guyana.

Migration from Guyana started in the 1960’s due to the unstable economic conditions which prevailed at that time.  Over the years, the migrant Guyanese population has increased, reducing much needed skills in many sectors.

Although Guyanese diaspora can be found in almost any part of the world, the most qualified and skilled migrants, such as teachers and nurses, are in the United Kingdom, North America and in the Caribbean countries of Barbados, Antigua, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Data from the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs suggests that from 1990 to mid-2010 there were an estimated 11,599 international migrants from Guyana living around the world.  
But the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) reported that at the end of 2005 there were approximately 200,000 regularized Guyanese migrants in the country.  This number does not include irregular migrants, which are estimated at more than 250,000.

For more information please contact

Rui Reis Oliveira
IOM Guyana
Tel: +592 225 3745