Suriname approaches IMF for possible financial aid

IMF

WASHINGTON, United States, Saturday January 30, 2016 – Suriname has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other lending agencies for assistance, as the country continues to take a hit from the sharp fall in the price of commodities such as gold and oil, on which the economy depends.

The IMF said authorities from the Desi Bouterse administration had discussed the possibility of financial support for their economic programme.

It said several policies have already been implemented in the context of that 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.

“Together with our sister organizations – the Caribbean Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank – we stand ready to help Suriname meet the economic challenges it is currently facing,” the IMF mission chief for Suriname, Daniel Leigh, said in a statement.

“At the request of the authorities, an IMF team will visit Paramaribo in the next few weeks for discussions on Suriname’s reform program and financing needs.”

Last November, Suriname devalued its currency by more than 20 per cent, following a drop in oil and gold prices and a major dip in financial reserves. The exchange rate moved from 3.50 Suriname dollars to the US dollar, to 4.00 Suriname dollars to the US dollar.

The devaluation was the second in four years.

In January 2011, the local currency was devalued by 16.4 per cent and government announced tax raises on alcohol, tobacco, gasoline and basic services as it sought to offset the impact of payments of overdue public worker salaries.

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