The Government and people of Suriname continued to build on their relations with the IDB in 2013 to expand opportunities for all and catalyse lasting reforms in key sectors—main objectives of the Development Plan. With a lending total of US$175 million (US$125 from Ordinary Capital and US$50 million from China co-financing funds), the partnership consolidated structural reforms in the energy and financial sectors while beginning activities on modernizing the revenue management system and the agriculture sector. An investment loan for US$30 million will finance capital works in energy. Specifically, these interventions contribute in part to:
- strengthening supervision of the financial sector and promoting inter-bank and securities market development
- improving the delivery of agricultural services to benefit more than 10,000 farmers;
- enhancing the quality and reliability of the local electricity service in addition to expanding access to 24-hour electricity supply to some locations in the Hinterland while promoting renewable energy solutions; and
- developing a clear and concise tax framework to cut compliance costs for the tax payer and improve taxpayer services, among others.
Suriname received US$5.4 million in grants and technical assistance in energy, social protection, and transport. IDB facilitated the implementation of Early Childhood Development policies under the guidance of, Her Excellency First Lady Ingrid Bouterse as chairperson of the Early Childhood Development Steering Committee.
On the private sector front, IDB followed the lead of Vice President Ameerali and the recently established Competitiveness Unit Suriname to deepen dialogue with stakeholders through the Caribbean Growth Forum initiative and the National Competitiveness Forum, financed by Compete Caribbean. The Competitiveness Forum was an opportunity to build an organic, local partnership among members from realms to move quickly toward private sector-led growth in Suriname. To this end, the Multilateral Investment Fund approved a US$1.0 million grant to deliver job skills training for the expanding youth population.
Knowledge generation and dissemination continued to be prominent features of the partnership in 2013. The IDB facilitated the project management training of more than 100 public officials, executing agencies’ staff, and prospective project members for results, procurement, and financial management. The Bank's analytical efforts concentrated on understanding the role of productivity, strategies for enhancing the business climate, effects of commodity price shocks, and the informal sector. While the Bank supported the National Census activity and the household budget survey, it collaborated with authorities to gather data regarding enterprises, labor, innovation, productivity, the social sector, and more.
The 2013 interventions were delivered within the context of the 2011–2015 Country Strategy with Suriname, approved by the Board of the IDB in November 2011.
- Christopher Barton