Suriname appeals for international help as economy struggles

25 Jan 16

The government of Suriname has requested financial support from a number of international lenders as its economy is crippled by the fall in commodity prices.

 

Suriname is the smallest country in South America and its economy is heavily reliant on commodities including gold and oil. The sharp drop in commodity prices has taken a heavy toll on the country’s finances, depleting its international reserves.

The country’s government approached the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Caribbean Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank last week for support in a programme of economic reforms to respond to the shock.

In a statement on Friday, Daniel Leigh, IMF mission chief for Suriname, confirmed that the country had approached the fund for financial support. He added: “Several important policies have already been implemented in the context of this programme with a view to strengthening the level of international reserves and paving the way for the economy to achieve sustained growth and financial stability.”

Leigh said an IMF team will visit the capital city Paramiribo in the next few weeks to discuss the Surianame's needs.

The World Bank Office for the Caribbean also confirmed that Suriname’s government had approached the bank for support and that a World Bank mission is set to visit the country.

“Together we stand ready to help Suriname meet its economic challenges, including the need to improve competitiveness, diversification, public sector modernisation and other requirements for sustained economic growth,” it said.

The IDB said it will work with its sister organisations to help Suriname and noted that it has already been working for several years to support reforms in the country. 

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