Located on the Guiana Shield, with 93% of its land covered by the Amazon rainforest, Suriname hosts a wealth of natural resources. However, the country is currently facing major economic, health and social challenges and is experiencing a financial crisis. AFD assists Suriname in two key areas: supporting more sustainable economic, social and environmental growth and strengthening regional cooperation, particularly in the east of the country.
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AFD's action in Suriname

Improving access to health care

AFD's action in Suriname, supporting the health sector

Improving access to health care

Since the mid-2000s, AFD has been helping to improve healthcare services in Suriname and supporting bilateral cooperation between France and Suriname in the health and hospital sectors.

In light of infrastructure and equipment shortages and obsolescence, both in Paramaribo and the inland areas of the country, AFD is financing a program to modernize healthcare services. The following initiatives will help improve access to health care for the population: The construction of a 40-bed rural hospital in Albina, the rehabilitation of health centers along the Maroni River and the partial renewal of the technical platforms of the country’s main hospitals. 

AFD is also supporting the country in the prevention of epidemic diseases, which are particularly widespread in the border area linked to French Guyana. Implementing joint strategies between the two territories should improve epidemiological surveillance.

Improving water and sanitation services

robinet, eau potable, Guyane

Improving water and sanitation services

Water is an abundant resource in Suriname. The country has some of the highest quality water in the world. However, at present, the supply of drinking water depends largely on underground resources, including contained aquifers that are not refillable and which are vulnerable to rising water levels.

Suriname’s water authority provides drinking water to 98% of the population and has a good record of technical and commercial performance. Nevertheless, a response must be prepared to deal with the water supply challenges this authority is facing. In order to meet the growing demand, AFD is helping the water authority to increase its capacities and make the transition to sustainable water resources.

Sanitation is also a key issue. Untreated wastewater is being released into the natural environment and the country is experiencing strong urban growth.

Preserving natural resources

forest tree Guyana

Preserving natural resources

93% of the country’s land area is covered by tropical forest, 91% of which is primary forest. This virgin forest is home to many species and is one of the richest on the planet in terms of biodiversity. However, it is under threat due to illegal activities such as gold mining and deforestation. Furthermore, the use of chemicals like mercury is polluting the water and soil and endangering the health of indigenous populations.

In order to protect the Amazon rainforest, AFD is involved in several projects to actively fight deforestation and the use of mercury in gold mines. It is also supporting indigenous populations in their efforts towards more sustainable management of forest resources.

Start of AFD’s activities in Suriname
million euros allocated since 2000
projects financed

Located in South America, on the Guiana Shield, Suriname is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean. The country’s economy is dominated by the extractive industries – gold, oil, timber and bauxite – which account for a large share of the country's activity. 

The significant drop in raw material prices in 2015, followed by the recent presidential elections in 2020, disrupted a period of continuous growth lasting over a decade. Suriname is now facing an economic crisis connected to the health crisis, as well as a political crisis and a default on its public debt. With a view to emerging from the crisis and resuming its business development, in December 2021, the country negotiated a credit facility with the IMF and is now trying to stabilize its macroeconomic situation. 

With its exceptional natural heritage, Suriname is one of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots. Aware of the importance of preserving its many natural riches, the country has set up a “National Environmental Fund” to finance various initiatives to protect the forest.

AFD has been present in Suriname since 2000 and has been supporting the Surinamese government throughout the country, including along its coastline and even in isolated areas. Its current mandate focuses on regional cooperation and green and inclusive growth, particularly in the health, biodiversity and energy sectors, as well as water and sanitation.

AFD's Suriname office is directly attached to the Atlantic Ocean regional office in Fort-de-France.

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