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GEORGETOWN/PARAMARIBO–Suriname and Guyana and will ask the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) to fund the feasibility study of building a river bridge between the two neighboring South American nations, a senior official said Saturday.
The Foreign Minister of Guyana, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett told Demerara Waves Online News that the hemispheric bank would be approached in another two weeks to conduct the study. She explained that the study would focus on the environmental and social impacts of bridging the Corentyne River which borders the two countries.
The decision to ask the IDB to assist with the study was made by Presidents Donald Ramotar and Desi Bouterse during the Guyanese leader’s working visit to Suriname last week.
“They decided on a joint approach towards the IDB for the purpose of identifying modalities for financing,” they said in a joint communiqué. Ramotar and Bouterse say the bridge across the Corentyne River would “considerably enhance trade and economic relations as well as cultural exchanges between the peoples of the two countries.” The land-route between Guyana and Suriname is being served by a European Union-funded ferry since 1998 but that has not deterred rickety wooden boats from operating from illegal port in both countries.
By Denis Scott Chabrol
BERGENDAL – Government officials and and officials from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) signed the contracts for two loans totaling US$ 20 million on Monday February 13, to help finance a conditional cash transfers program and the national census and household survey.
The loan documents were signed by Finance Minister Adelien Wijnerman and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno at a ceremony during 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$5 million loan will support the National Population and Housing Census and Household Budget Survey, which will yield updated demographic, social, economic, and cultural information on Suriname.
WASHINGTON—The partnership between Suriname and the InterAmerican Development is revitalizing and reaching results, the Bank wrote in a press release on Friday. Aside from securing close to US$ 400 million in loans and financing from the IDB over 2011-2015, Suriname is hosting the “First IDB Caribbean Governors Meeting” at BergenDal resort in March this year. The conference will bring regional ministers to Suriname, to hold discussions before the next IDB Annual Meeting in Uruguay in March. “Less than a year after the Central Bank’s President and IDB Governor, and the Minister of Finance of Suriname concluded an agreement with IDB Vice President Roberto Vellutini to revitalize the partnership between the Government and the Bank, many good results were already achieved,” said IDB Representative in Suriname, Marco Nicola.
The loans and finances are part of a new strategy in which Suriname will loans a record amount of around US$300 million in the period 2011-2015. The Bank also approved financing and disbursements of US$80 million this year.
“In the wake of the Government’s ambitious reform agenda to structurally transform the economy the IDB is poised to become a more significant development partner,” added Nicola. “Throughout 2011, Government and IDB officials have worked to deliver important milestones that will contribute to an improved outlook for Suriname.”
PARAMARIBO- Suriname will strengthen its public capital expenditure management with a US$20 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). “The reform effort will combine policy initiatives as well as government action,” said IDB team leader Jorge Luis Von Horoch. “The project will address the management of public investment, procurement and financial management and audit to support an ambitious government development program.”
The program outlines a comprehensive reform of the whole cycle of publicly funded projects, involving key aspects for the preparation, selection, execution, monitoring and evaluation.
The investment aspect will cover issues related to policies, practices, and mechanisms for improved project cycle management, including a better strategic vision in the pre-investment stage.
The procurement, financial and audit components are key to enhance project implementation. Each area of the program will target the legal framework, procedures and necessary instruments.
This financing is the first of a program of three policy-based loans. The IDB loan approved today is for a 20-year term, with a five-year grace period, at a variable interest rate based on LIBOR. The Ministry of Finance will be in charge of the program.
PARAMARIBO–The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the approval by the Board of Executive Directors of the 2011-2015 Country Strategy with Suriname, which supports efforts to modernize the public sector, diversify the economy and ensure adequate protection and future investment in human capital.
“This is a unique opportunity to strengthen the IDB support to the country’s development agenda, as the main multilateral partner that is ready and able to provide technical and financial support for the reform and capital investment plans of the Government of Suriname,” said IDB Representative in Suriname, Marco Nicola. Lending during this new five-year strategy is expected to increase notably to around US$300 million, from US$103 million in the previous strategy,” added Nicola.
The loans, GFC News reports, will concern the rehabilitation of the drinking water infrastructure and the strengthening of the local disaster management organisations. The news website reports that the signing of the agreements is set to take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreno is currently on a three-country Caribbean visit. On Tuesday he put his signature under two loan agreements with the Barbados government, totaling US$40 million, to support initiatives that will bring significant economic benefits to the Caribbean island through sustainable energy and more effective coastal zone management. “The IDB is firmly committed to a strong partnership with Barbados,” Moreno www.Caribbean360.com quotes him as saying after signing the agreements with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart. Moreno’s next stop is Trinidad and Tobago, followed by Suriname. The IDB has a portfolio of over US$1.3 billion in the Caribbean and is the leading source of multilateral finance for the region.
PARAMARIBO, Suriname–Suriname is listed among the itinerary of Inter-American Development Bank Presiden, Luis Alberto Moreno, who will visit three Caribbean IDB member countries this week to help strengthen the IDB’s contribution to the development effort throughout the region. The Bank has a portfolio of over US$1.3 billion in the Caribbean and is the leading source of multilateral finance for the region. The IDB is committed to increasing its support of small and vulnerable countries. Moreno will travel to Suriname after a visit to Barbados on February 7. On his agenda is a meeting with President Desi Bouterse.
A press release stated that the bank’s 2011-2015 Country Strategy will focus on supporting the government’s ambitious plans to modernize governance, improve equity, and boost economic growth. “IDB has since the start of 2011 been engaged in a constructive and strategic dialogue with the Government of Suriname regarding the country’s development priorities. The shared vision that will emerge from the dialogue will set the foundation for a new IDB Country Strategy in which the Government and the Bank will agree on the role the IDB will play in supporting the country’s development agenda over 2011-2015 period,” the release said.
It emphasized the bank’s commitment toward the Caribbean. “The IDB is strongly committed to help governments promote competitiveness and a sustainable economic growth,” said Moreno. “Sustainable energy, climate change prevention and mitigation, and better productivity are key areas to improve the quality of life in this region.”
During his trip to the three countries, Moreno will hold conversations with high-ranking officials to discuss ways to improve the Bank’s partnership with governments and their countries. Moreno is also to meet with Caribbean Development Bank President Compton Bourne and CDB senior management, private sector and civil society representatives, academics and opinion leaders. Moreno will also visit IDB projects in execution in these countries.
The funds will finance a program to improve the water supply distribution system in priority districts of the coastal area through rehabilitation works and measures that will reduce water losses and strengthen the financial sustainability of public service operators.
Specifically, the program will rehabilitate aging water networks by replacing old pipes and installing residential household connections and water meters, among other activities. Water losses caused by leaks and non-payment will be reduced through a comprehensive plan that will include a modern monitoring system, new flow and pressure meters and enhanced revenue collection.
The program will also finance a pilot project to improve energy use by the Suriname Water Company (SWM), by replacing old pumping equipment with new and more efficient alternatives, and by introducing new energy monitoring practices in eight locations selected in the most populated project area. Finally, the program will pay for training to improve the management, operations, maintenance and quality-control capacity of SWM. Training on water quality monitoring will also be provided to the Department for Water Supply under the Ministry of Natural Resources.
By year five of the program’s execution period, some 11,600 households are expected to have a more reliable and higher-quality water service. The program is expected to result in a 10 percent increase in the amount of water that is properly billed, a significant drop in energy usage, and reductions in average response times for repairs to the network.
The loan is from the IDB’s Ordinary Capital, with a 25 year term, a five year grace period and an interest rate based on LIBOR.