Stabroek News business supplement misrepresents migration statistics --- correct data issued since November last
January 30, 2004
GINA -- THE Editorial of Stabroek News Business Supplement dated Thursday 29, 2004 noted that 'fifty thousand Guyanese emigrated in 2002 and it is estimated that annually, 20,000 to 30,000 persons are leaving these shores.'
However, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission to Guyana, the source of the erroneous data, had stated on November 3, 2002 that the figures were a typographical error.
The figures were presented in a report by USAID at a remittance and migration seminar on Guyana.
The report, which was a draft, had stated that 50,000 Guyanese were expected to emigrate during 2002.
In a press release dated November 3, issued by the USAID Mission Director in Guyana, Dr. Mike Sarhan, it was pointed out that such a figure is clearly wrong as it would mean that there would be no one left after 10 years.
In checking with the author of the report, Dr. Manuel Orozco indicated that the number was a typographical error, as he was unable to obtain an accurate figure that could be substantiated.
Dr. Sarhan noted that USAID reports, such as these are released first in draft, in the hope that such errors will be discovered. Unfortunately, the error was not spotted immediately and the incorrect figure has recently been quoted in the international press.
Mission Director Sarhan in the 2002 release stated that he regrets any embarrassment caused by the error, which has been corrected in the final report.
It is therefore surprising that Stabroek News would repeat an error which correction, it would have been aware of.