News Releases Jan 5, 2012. The Government of Suriname (GoS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) agreed a new strategy to lend a record amount of around US$300 million in the period 2011-2015. The Bank also approved financing and disbursements of US$80 million this year.
“Less than a year after the Central Bank’s President and IDB Governor, and the Minister of Finance of Suriname concluded an agreement with IDB Vice President Roberto Vellutini to revitalize the partnership between the Government and the Bank, many good results were already achieved,” said IDB Representative in Suriname, Marco Nicola.
“In the wake of the Government’s ambitious reform agenda to structurally transform the economy the IDB is poised to become a more significant development partner,” added Nicola. “Throughout 2011, Government and IDB officials have worked to deliver important milestones that will contribute to an improved outlook for Suriname.”
Suriname will also host in Berg en Dal in February 2012, the “First IDB Caribbean Governors Meeting”, for regional ministers to hold discussions before the next IDB Annual Meeting in Uruguay in March.
Country Strategy with Suriname
The Government of Suriname and the IDB finalized 2011 with a new Country Strategy, which aims to provide financing in seven areas: agriculture, education, energy, financial sector, public capital investment, social protection, and transport infrastructure. Lending expected to be approved in 2011-2015 represents more than double the total financing for the previous five year period.
Lending and Disbursements
Financing approved this year already totaled US$80 million, and a similar amount was disbursed, making it one of the most successful since the IDB began operating in Suriname.
The Government of Suriname started its reforms to the financial sector and its management of public capital investments with IDB support. These programs have contributed to the strengthening of the Central Bank, improvements in key legislation and regulations, the development of medium- term financial planning tools, enhanced transparency and efficiency of public expenditure processes.
The IDB also recently approved two investment loans to bolster the efficiency and relevance of Suriname’s social protection programs, in addition to financing the upcoming census and household budget surveys for 2012 and 2013.
These programs have been added to a robust set of activities in the portfolio, that include the Meerzorg-Albina road rehabilitation program, housing, education, trade, water, and environmental projects.
In addition to its lending, the IDB has provided US$1.6 million in grants to complement the initiatives associated with the lending program for 2011. Specifically, grant resources funded capacity building for the Central Bank, the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the newly established Public Procurement Unit in the Ministry of Finance.
A Modern Approach
These results have been achieved due to improved local capacity on the part of both the Government of Suriname and the IDB. The Government established a highly efficient channel for external support in the Joint Desk, which consists of officials from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance. Improved execution capacity in various line ministries has also contributed to the success of the partnership.
Meanwhile, the local IDB office, under a newly appointed Representative, added several new Surinamese and international specialists to ensure support to the ambitious collaboration.
To strengthen their partnership, the Government of Suriname and the IDB have drawn upon the experience and advice of local civil society and private sector institutions through its Civil Society Consulting Group, which was also reinstated in 2011.x