IMF approves more funds for Suriname

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has granted Suriname a waiver for nonobservance of a performance criterion and will also allow the Dutch-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to draw down US$62 million, bringing its total disbursement to an estimated US$323million.

The Washington-based financial institution said that its executive board has completed the fifth review under the 36-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement that was approved on December 22, 2021 in an amount of US$688 million.

It said that since then, Suriname has been steadily implementing an ambitious economic reform agenda aimed at restoring fiscal and debt sustainability through fiscal consolidation and debt restructuring, protecting the vulnerable by expanding social programmes, upgrading the monetary and exchange rate policy framework, addressing the financial sector’s vulnerabilities, and advancing the anti-corruption and governance agenda.

`The authorities’ commitment to fiscal discipline and macroeconomic stabilization under the EFF-supported program is paying off. The economy is growing, inflation is on a steady downward trend, and investor confidence is improving. Near-term downside risks highlight the importance of maintaining the reform momentum to secure hard-won gains,” said IMF deputy managing director, Kenji Okamura.

He said Suriname’s determination to carry out politically challenging reforms is commendable and that all quantitative performance criteria for this review were met, and structural reforms are proceeding, albeit with some delays.

“The near-term priority is to preserve fiscal discipline to put public debt on a firmly downward path and build resilience to future shocks. The authorities’ commitment to removing unregistered and chronically absent workers from the public payroll will help create fiscal space for a more meaningful wage increase for productive civil servants.”

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