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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–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—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.
PARAMARIBO–Jan Ernst Maltzeliger, the Surinamer who revolutionized the world’s shoe industry may get proper recognition in his country. Daily newspaper De Ware Tijd reports that the Matzeliger Institute last Thursday submitted a formal request to the board of the University of Suriname, to bestow a posthumous honorary doctorate from the Technological Faculty upon the Black 19th century inventor.
Matzeliger was born in Paramaribo on September 15, 1852, the son of a Black slave and a Dutch engineer; at an early age he learned engineering from his father, but at the age of 17, he left Suriname to work as a sailor. He settled in the US two years later. In 1876 he moved to Lynn, Massachusetts, the emerging center of the American shoe manufacturing industry. On March 20, 1883, Matzeliger received patent no. 274, 207 for a “Lasting Machine” that rapidly stitched the leather and sole of a shoe.
This task was previously done manually by a “hand laster”, who could produce 50 pairs in a ten-hour day; Maltzeliger’s machine could produce between 150 to 700 pairs of shoes a day, cutting shoe prices in half.
DevSur contributor Dr Cory Couillard will guest in The Dr Mol Show on April 26th, to explain the risks associated with excess belly fat, the link to diabetes and will provide exercise and dietary solutions to lose belly fat and keep it off. The Dr Mol Show segment “Waistline Woes” that airs 26 April 2013 on SABC3 will look at the relationship between abdominal fat, abdominal girth and Type 2 diabetes.
Body mass index (BMI) was once used as the gold standard to determine one’s risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, clogging of the arteries and heart attack. BMI is determined by a ratio of height to weight but this system does not look at where the weight is distributed.New research has showed that BMI is not as reliable as waist to height ratios. Waist circumference measures the amount of belly fat and how it is distributed throughout the body. Excessive abdominal fat is a well-known risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.
PARAMARIBO–The second European Union – Suriname meeting in the framework of Article 8 of the ACP-EU Cotonou agreement took place on 22 April 2013 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A press release from the EU delegation in Suriname said this was a continuation of the first meeting that took place on 30th May 2012. The talks went well and will be continued it said.
The release said the dialogue focused on exchanging information to foster mutual understanding and to facilitate the establishment of agreed priorities and shared agendas, in particular by recognizing the existing links between the different aspects of the relations between the Parties and the various areas of cooperation’s as laid down in the Cotonou Agreement.
PARAMARIBO–Dozens of boys and girls, most of them clad in white clothing, gathered early Sunday morning to do a yoga-session in Paramaribo.
On April 7, World Health Day, people not only from Paramaribo but also from other districts, were ready for a yoga-session organized by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Suriname (HSSS). This organisation believes that through yoga, a ’Healthy people, healthy nation’ can be created. Worldwide, non-communicable diseases are reaching enormous proportions, so why not promote yoga to prevent them?
Kiran Mahangi became a member of HSSS twelve years ago. He explained the work of HSSS. “In several community centers, youngsters gather to practise yoga and to get physical -and character development. They also learn what it is to be disciplined. There is a curriculum with objectives. HSSS originates from India but is not specifically for persons with Indian roots”. HSSS organized this yoga session for the first time due to World Health Day and the location of the Independence square in Paramaribo was most suitable.
PARAMARIBO–Suriname has secured approval for its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP 2013) and will receive US$ 3.8 million to prepare for participation in the United Nation’s REDD+ initiatives that focus on reducing emissions from deforestation and enhancing forest carbon stocks.
The UN’s Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a set of steps designed to use market and financial incentives to encourage forest rich countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. Its objective is to reduce greenhouse gases. Estimates are that deforestation and forest degradation account for 20-25% of greenhouse gas emissions, which is higher than the transportation sector.