A support package for Suriname from the International Monetary Fund is close by. The two parties have reached a provisional agreement on a three-year aid package worth $690 million, reports the IMF. The daily management of the IMF and the Surinamese parliament still have to approve the plan.
The money is meant to get Suriname on track economically. The government of President Santokhi, who took office last year, took over the country with a large public debt of 3.5 billion euros. The country is practically bankrupt and is suffering from the consequences of the coronacrisis.
“ Since Santokhi took office, the economic situation has only worsened,” says correspondent Nina Jurna. “Prices have risen in recent months and inflation and poverty have increased further. Suriname‘s financial position is further weakened.”
Government debt down
The support package requires the poorest to spend more, the public debt has to be reduced and reforms must be implemented in Surinam, says the IMF. An amount of approximately 60 million dollars will be made available quickly upon approval of the management of the fund. That approval is expected sometime in the coming weeks.
The aid package has been negotiated for months. Part of the support package is that Suriname will implement reforms. According to the IMF, this package contains “important steps” to improve the financial condition of Suriname. “A significant effort will be needed to improve governance, strengthen the approach to money laundering and reduce corruption,” the fund says.
Correspondent Jurna says Santokhi could use some success. “In addition, this support provides some air for the government, which is also suffering from all kinds of strangulation contracts and sky-high repayments. That’s a result of deals made under the previous government. Although the support of the IMF also means that tough demands are being made, and there may be a need for further austerity, the Surinamese Government hopes that this IMF support programme will bring economic recovery and subsequently growth.”