Suriname has grown steadily over the last decade. The country now enjoys social and economic stability, and boasts one of the lowest public debt profiles in the region. This result is due to its significant endowment of natural resources, substantial development aid, and conservative fiscal management. Yet important development challenges continue to exist. Export earnings depend on a few commodities, and agricultural productivity has stagnated. The public sector remains large, and the overall governance and most specific sectoral frameworks need to be updated. The people of Suriname elected a new Administration in 2010 that has set an ambitious agenda of reforms to tackle entrenched structural issues that act as a bottleneck to the country’s development even as longstanding bilateral aid from the Dutch Development Fund is ending.
Through the IDB Country Strategy with Suriname 2011-2015, the Government of Suriname elevates its partnership for development with the IDB. The Strategy proposes a notable increase in lending, from $103 million (in the previous Country Strategy period, 2007-2010), to about $300 million. The main focus is on supporting the transition to modern public governance structures, diversifying the economy, and expanding social benefits. The priority areas include: (i) agriculture, (ii) energy, (iii) education, (iv) financial sector development, (v) public investment management, (vi) social protection, and (vii) transport. Dialogue will continue to be strengthened in water and sanitation, disaster risk management, tax administration, health, private sector development, and natural resources and environmental management with a view to possible additional lending support.