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< Current local time in Suriname – Paramaribo
PARAMARIBO—A project that will look into creating job and training opportunities for its youth and support the modernization of the juvenile justice system was kicked off on Thursday . The “Youth Development and Juvenile Justice in Suriname” project is a three-year initiative funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Charged with implementation is the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States (OAS) that implements integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people and provides aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2012, the foundation helped more than 10 million people in 29 countries. . Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia and Suriname, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The project is facilitated by the Organization of American States (OAS).
A press release from the US embassy said that through the project, PADF will focus on providing youth access to employment and vocational education. Local organizations will be able to apply for grants for a wide variety of preventive and support services targeting youth. The project will also support the modernization of the country’s juvenile justice system so it continues to be more responsive to the rehabilitative needs of youth offenders, the release said. It will be executed in partnership with Government, local NGOs, the business community and other donor organizations to address the growing problems of at-risk youth.
PARAMARIBO–Surinamese insurer Assuria has acquired Trinidad’s Gulf Insurance Ltd, a move that management of the Surinamese company calls the fulfillment of a strategic goal to expand further into the Caribbean. Stephen Smit, Assuria’s General Manager announced at the annual general meeting of shareholders earlier this week that the Central Bank of Suriname CBvS granted permission to buy the Trinidadian company last Friday; the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago already gave the go-ahead a few months ago.
Assuria in March last year became the first insurer from Suriname to open a branch in neighbouring Guyana. Commenting on the acquisition of Gulf Mario Merhai, Assuria’s Director of Life & Health, Group Marketing & Sales told Trinidad’s Guardian newspaper in March: “With the acquisition of Gulf (Insurance Ltd), our wings will be far more spread than currently is the case.”
Assuria, the largest insurer in Suriname sells motor, life, health and general insurance. General Manager Smidt presented the figures over 2012 at the shareholders’ meeting last Tuesday, which showed that the company boasts of US$ 240 million in assets and clocked US$ 35 percent profit in 2012. Smidt had a positive outlook for Suriname’s economy; he said the developments in the mining sector would have a good spin off effect on the rest of the country.
PARAMARIBO–The Organization of American States (OAS), has donated firearms marking equipment to Suriname. Albert Ramdin, the Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric organization, presented the equipment on Thursday, at the Office of the Chief of Police to Commissioner Agnes Daniel, Acting Chief of Police.
The donation is funded by the government of the United States. OAS said the equipment will be used by the country’s Department of Justice and Police to combat the illicit trafficking of firearms. The initiative is part of the OAS’ efforts in the fight against crime. The program “Promoting Firearms Marking in Latin America and the Caribbean,” follows the Inter-American Convention against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), and seeks to strengthen national capabilities on matters of firearms marking.
Ramdin: “Suriname represents an important bridge between the regions, being part of both Latin American and Caribbean groupings. The OAS is committed to supporting the efforts of the government of Suriname to fight crime.”
PARAMARIBO–Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services (S&P) has raised its outlook on Suriname from stable to positive, citing investments in the energy and mining sector as boosts for growth. ”At the same time, we affirmed our ‘BB-/B’ foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Suriname,” S&P said in a press release.
According to S&P analyst Richard Francis, the ratings agency’s revision to positive reflects the expectation “that large investments in the mining and oil sectors could lead to higher growth prospects as well as higher levels of exports and government revenues”. He further argued that tax reform and the creation of a sovereign wealth fund could also improve fiscal flexibility.
S&P said that Suriname has improving macroeconomic fundamentals, robust medium-term growth prospects, a low debt position, and solid external indicators, which however are offset by its narrow economic base and institutional capacity.
PARAMARIBO–Government has scrapped the hydro energy project that was billed as the solution to the country’s long term energy woos. No official statement has been released yet, but reports are that President Desi Bouterse assured residents of her district that the TapaJai project that would affect their surroundings will not be carried out. The residents will soon be presented with the President’s formal notice of cancellation.
TapaJai refers to the area surrounding the Tapanahoni River and the Jai Creek in Sipaliwini in south eastern Suriname, from where water will be diverted to supplement the Prof. Dr. J.C. Van Blommestein Lake, a 1,560 square kilometer artificial lake that was created in the 1960′s.
Due to unexpected changes in weather patterns, the Afobaka Dam power plant in the dam at the lake has in recent years been unable to generate enough hydro-energy to power both the country’s growing community and the aluminum plant of Suralco -a subsidiary of Pittsburg headquartered multinational Alcoa.
PARAMARIBO—Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia has joined the hunt for natural gas off the coast of Suriname. Staatsolie on Friday announced that it has signed a production sharing contract with the Malaysia’s explorer for an offshore bloc about 130 kilometers off shore. “We believe in Suriname,” said Petronas general manager Effendi Chung Bin Abdullah at the signing with Staatsolie Director Mark Waaldijk.
Staatsolie said Petronas will invest US$25 million, drill at least one exploratory well and conduct a 3D seismic survey of Block 52. It said Petronas’s costs would be reimbursed if the Malaysian company developed a commercial discovery, in which case, Staatsolie would have the option to participate with a 20 percent stake.
The dreary Saturday morning didn’t stop clients to show up for a health check at pharmacy Karis. Kendan International offered this service for the third time this year in cooperation with Karis. The well-known blood pressure and blood glucose measurements were done for about 48 clients.
A comprehensive health check with even more measurements was done by 40 clients, between age 11 and 69 years, of whom 55% were females. The results were showing a picture that is definitely something to worry about!
72,5% of the 40 clients was considered overweight according to their Body Mass Index (BMI). The body fat percentage was too high for 75% and the waist to hip ratio (WHR) too much for 47,5%. The BMI, body fat percentage and WHR show whether someone has a risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
By Dr Cory Couillard
A new study indicates that drinking one or more cans of soda a day can increase one’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. One in five were at elevated risk of diabetes with as little as one can per day according to statistics published in the journal Diabetologia. Soda has also become a well-known cause of weight gain, obesity and heart disease.
The diabetic findings were similar to research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. There study followed 42,833 men’s diet, weight, smoking and exercise patterns for an average of 22 years. The primary finding of the study was men who drank one sugar-sweetened beverage per day had a 20 percent higher risk of suffering a heart attack.
The latest diabetes research was compiled from over 350,000 individuals in the UK, France, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. ”The consumption of sugar sweetened soft drinks increases your risk of diabetes – so for every can of soft drinks that you drink per day, the risk is higher,” says lead researcher Dora Romaguera.
Readytex Art Gallery presents Kurt Nahar this week.
About his work, the artist says: “With my art I express my thoughts and emotions on several subjects related to the social and political circumstances in Suriname today. Initially, many of my artwork and especially my installations cause a shock effect under the general public, but that is exactly my intention. I want to confront the public with those subjects which they are so often inclined to ignore or to just close their eyes to. By doing so I hope to force them to think about these controversial subjects and to break the tradition of silent acceptance in our country.
AMSTERDAM–A foundation has kicked off a donation drive in the Netherlands to raise the funds to erect a national slavery monument in Suriname. Winston Wirth of Green Hearts Foundation International (GHFI) said at the foundation’s first information session in Amsterdam that the intention is to raise at least US$ 400,000.
The intention to erect monument that would pay homage to the heroes of the days when slavery was norm, was first announced last February by President Bouterse. “The national heroes should be honored with a monument that is a powerful tribute,” the President said then. Veteran artist Erwien de Vries, who also sculpted the Slavery Monument in Amsterdam’s Oostpark, has offered to create the monument, but it turns out that the necessary funds are not in Government’s budget.