Suriname, IDB sign loans totaling $20 million

Support for conditional cash transfers program, census and household survey

BERGENDAL, Suriname – Authorities from the Republic of Suriname and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today signed the contracts for two loans totaling $20 million to help finance a conditional cash transfers program and the national census and household survey.

Suriname Finance Minister Adelien Wijnerman and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno signed the documents at a ceremony held here, on occasion of a regional meeting of IDB Governors from the Caribbean region.

A $15 million loan will help finance Suriname’s Social Protection Support Program, supporting the government’s efforts to enhance the effectiveness of spending on social protection programs.

The program will finance grants to poor pregnant and lactating women and the mothers of poor children, reaching up to 15,000 households by 2015. The goal is to break the intergenerational transmission of poverty by investing in children’s nutrition, health and education during their crucial formative years.

Families receiving cash transfers will have to attend regular health check-ups, participate in nutrition education and take nutrition supplements, and attend school regularly in order to receive monthly payments.

The program is expected to substantially increase education enrollment rates, especially in secondary schools. Expected health outcomes include improved maternal health due to regular prenatal checkups and an increase in the number of children who are immunized against preventable diseases.

A US$5 million loan will support the National Population and Housing Census and Household Budget Survey, which will yield updated demographic, social, economic, and cultural information on Suriname.

Suriname will carry out its Eighth General Population and Housing Census in 2012 to update the national data from 2004. Based on the results, the General Bureau of Statistics (GBS) will carry out the Household Budget Survey in 2013–14 to update data on household expenditures, the labor force, and the basket of goods and services used to calculate the change in the Consumer Price Index.

The comprehensive information collected by the census and the household survey will allow the GBS to generate updated, reliable, and detailed data about the size, distribution, composition, income, and geographical movements of the population.