U.S. Government Cooperation with Suriname July 2021 – June 2022

On the occasion of U.S. Independence Day, the U.S. Embassy offers a brief review of U.S. assistance in cooperation with Suriname in the last year.  These collaborative activities fall within the framework laid out in the first U.S.-Suriname Bilateral Dialogues, held on July 3, 2021 and reaffirmed in the second Bilateral Dialogue on May 20, 2022.  The following are representative, but not exhaustive, of the activities with the Republic of Suriname and civil society in the last year, some of which began more than a year ago but are still ongoing.

“Every Independence Day at an Embassy is an occasion to celebrate not only the anniversary of U.S. independence, but to reflect on the relationship with our host nation,” Ambassador Karen Lynn Williams, U.S. Ambassador to Suriname said.  “I am extremely pleased that our cooperation, though hindered for a while by the pandemic, is back in full swing and is, indeed, growing each year through the hard work of our Surinamese partners and all our excellent staff here at U.S. Embassy Paramaribo.”

Economic & Financial Stabilization

Beginning in October 2020, the U.S. has been helping Suriname to stabilize its economic and financial situation with bilateral assistance, and assistance aimed at helping Suriname obtain benefits from International Financial Institutions.  These are examples of assistance the U.S. provided in the last year:

  • June 2021-November 2021 – The U.S. Embassy provides Female Led Innovative Rural Startup (FLIRS) training of women entrepreneurs throughout Suriname
  • October 2021 – The U.S. Embassy facilitates an exchange program for education sector leaders on how to best match vocational training to employer and workforce needs
  • November 2021 – The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) starts a cooperative project with Suriname’s Central National Accounting Service (CLAD) to promote transparency in government and public financing
  • December 2021 – The U.S. Embassy promotes Suriname in Part I of a U.S. South America Trade Mission
  • January – March 2022 – USAID provides support to assure legislative and regulatory compliance with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations regarding money laundering and terrorist financing
  • Ongoing – USAID is providing budget preparation and execution control assistance and technical support to the Government of Suriname through the IMF’s Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC)
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Embassy provides business development training for young entrepreneurs through the Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Program Suriname (YIEPS) program at the American Corner in Paramaribo
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Embassy facilitates the training of women entrepreneurs through the State Department’s Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Embassy facilitates the mentoring of new entrepreneurs by businesspeople
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Government supports Suriname in obtaining and implementing an IMF Extended Fund Facility
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Government supports Suriname in the carrying out of its National Risk Assessment (NRA) and participation in Mutual Evaluations
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service and U.S. Embassy in Suriname provide support to Caribbean and South American Regional Trade Missions to Suriname
  • Ongoing – USAID, through its INVEST program, is preparing support to Public Private Partnerships and private investment deals


COVID-19 Management

After the March 13, 2020 announcement that COVID-19 had arrived in Suriname, the U.S. made it a top priority to help Suriname to protect itself against COVID-19.  These are examples of assistance the U.S. provided in the last year:

  • July 2021 – Provision by SOUTHCOM of a 40-bed field hospital and accompanying equipment valued at over $1 million
  • August 2021 – Provision by the U.S. of 104,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine
  • Fall 2021 – February 2022 – Virtual and then on-site education training of three leaders from the COVAB Nursing College via the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) leading to new partnerships with nursing training programs in the U.S. with the goal of strengthening Suriname’s health care system
  • October and November 2021 – USAID supports Suriname’s PAHO office in the provision of COVID-19 PPE to Suriname’s Regional Health Department, including room dividers, chairs, safety goggles, reservoir bags, masks, and 33 full oxygen tanks and their regulators, hook connections, and humidifiers
  • January 2022 – Virtual leadership training by the U.S. for a COVID-19 Response Committee member and managers of Suriname’s Regional Health Service
  • February 2022 – Provision by the U.S. of 226,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine
  • Ongoing – USAID is providing technical assistance for the coordination and operationalization of Suriname’s COVID-19 National Vaccination Plan, including support for vaccination missions into the interior; logistical support through the training of Regional Health Service workers; and support for the design and implementation of an information system to register and report the administration of COVID-19 vaccines
  • Ongoing – USAID is assisting Suriname to expand COVID-19 vaccination sites from 11 to 23 in the coastal areas
  • Ongoing – USAID is training 60 people in vaccination health information systems
  • Ongoing – USAID is developing messaging to dispel myths and generate vaccine demand in six local languages reaching more than 400,000 people in Suriname
  • Ongoing – USAID is reaching 70 percent of Suriname’s population with COVID-19 messaging in English and Dutch


Law Enforcement Cooperation

Beginning in August 2020, the U.S. – at the request of the Government of Suriname – has been providing various forms of bilateral assistance to Surinamese law enforcement entities, and other government entities involved in law enforcement, counternarcotics, the execution of justice, and the fight against corruption.  These are examples of assistance the U.S. provided in the last year:

  • June 2021 – June 2022 – A Surinamese National Police (KPS) Academy official gains professional knowledge and expands her understanding of police training best practices while in the U.S. on Humphrey professional exchange program
  • August 2021 – The U.S. FBI provides vetting assistance to select law enforcement entities in Suriname
  • February 2022 – The U.S. Department of the Interior provides Surinamese game wardens with training to investigate flora and wildlife trafficking
  • April 2022 – The U.S. Embassy provides Crisis Management, Leadership, and Small Arms Trafficking training to law enforcement and security entities in Suriname
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Embassy is providing investigative assistance to Suriname’s National Security Directorate (DNV) and KPS to enhance their capabilities in countering cybercrime, money laundering, smuggling and trafficking and other illegal activities in Suriname and the region.
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Embassy is providing the KPS funding assistance to develop an educational website about Trafficking in Persons (TIP)
  • Ongoing – The U.S. Embassy is facilitating a series of workshops on anti-corruption and good governance involving American and international speakers on anti-corruption
  • Ongoing – The U.S. is providing technical assistance to Suriname’s Ministry of Economy in the area of protecting Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Ongoing – USAID is strengthening evidenced-based decision-making for citizen security in Suriname through the CariSECURE program, with assistance provided specifically to Suriname’s Ministry of Justice & Police and the KPS
  • Ongoing – USAID recently started an Amazon-wide program, in partnership with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to counter illegal trafficking of prohibited materials


Support for Suriname’s Defense Forces

Beginning in March 2021, the U.S. – at the request of the Government of Suriname – has been providing various forms of bilateral assistance to Suriname’s Ministry of Defense and the Suriname Defense Forces (SDF) to further professionalize Suriname’s defense establishment and its peacetime mission in support of the Surinamese people, enhance its defense and border patrol capabilities, and quantitatively increase its interoperability with the armed forces of the U.S. and other NATO allies.  U.S. engagement is primarily through U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) and the South Dakota National Guard (SDNG) through its 16-year State Partnership Program with Suriname.  These are examples of U.S. assistance provided to Suriname in the last year:

  • July 2021 – SOUTHCOM Chief of Staff U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Yvette Davids visits Suriname to turn over a 40-bed field hospital; meet with Defense Minister Mathoera, Health Minister Ramadhin, and National Coordination Cemter for Disaster Management (NCCR) Chief Colonel Slijngard; and speak to over 30 female officers and the senior military leadership of Suriname at a Women’s Peace and Security event hosted by Defense Minister Mathoera
  • August 2021 – The U.S. Embassy facilitates an engagement between the SOUTHCOM Commander and Suriname’s Chief of Defense and Service Commanders
  • August 2021 – The U.S. Embassy facilitates the Commander of the SDF’s participation in the Southern Defense Conference in Florida
  • September 2021 – SOUTHCOM and Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South) host a visit by Suriname’s Minister of Defense to their facilities in Florida
  • September 2021 – SOUTHCOM Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Yvette Davids hosts Defense Minister Mathoera as the guest speaker at a Women’s Peace and Security event for over 70 participants
  • October 2021 – The SOUTHCOM Commander hosts Suriname’s Minister of Defense and Chief of Defense for SOUTHCOM’s Change of Command ceremony in Florida
  • November 2021 – The SOCSOUTH Commander visits Suriname
  • November 2021 – The Adjutant General of the South Dakota National Guard (SDNG TAG) visits Suriname
  • December 2021 – The U.S. Embassy facilitates a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Experts Exchange in Suriname
  • February 2022 – The SDNG conducts a planning conference with the SDF and NCCR leadership to discuss the training schedule for the current Fiscal Year and three years out
  • April 2022 – With U.S. Embassy assistance, tThe Acting Commander of the SDF participates virtually in the Caribbean Defense Conference
  • April 2022 – The SDNG brought 18 medical personnel to Suriname to conduct a Medical & Dental Readiness Exercise with SDF medical personnel that treats over 2,000 Surinamese patients
  • April 2022 – The SDNG brings to Suriname 12 SDNG personnel to work with 12 SDF engineers on a Vertical Engineering project to refurbish a school in Wanica district
  • May 2022 – With U.S. Embassy assistance, Suriname sent two military participants to the Caribbean Regional Intelligence Conference at SOUTHCOM Headquarters in Florida


Other (Diplomatic Cooperation, Resiliency Against Natural Disasters, Human Rights and Transparent Governance Promotion, etc..)

Beginning in July 2020, the U.S. has been cooperating with Suriname in regional and international fora to promote human rights and democracy, transparent and responsive governance, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.  The U.S. has also helped Suriname to develop its capabilities to respond to the long-term effects of global climate change, regular and unusual natural disasters, and long-term social problems that work against the development of Suriname’s human capital and hamper its socio-economic development potential.  Examples in the last year include:

  • July 2021 – An interagency team led by the U.S. Ambassador reviews bilateral cooperation with Suriname’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Business and International Cooperation (MFA-BIBIS) in the first session of the U.S.-Suriname Bilateral Dialogue
  • November 2021 – The U.S. provides $50,000 in funding support to a year-long project to curb domestic violence in Suriname
  • February 2022 – The U.S. provides documentary film training to 20 students in Suriname, providing a boost to Suriname’s creative industry
  • March 2022 – The U.S. Embassy provides Fraud Prevention Training to officials of the MFA-BIBIS, KPS, National Security Directorate (DNV), and Ministry of Defense
  • May 2022 – An interagency team led by the U.S. Ambassador and joined by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Caribbean Affairs and Haiti and USAID’s Regional Representative reviews bilateral cooperation with Suriname’s MFA-BIBIS in the second session of the U.S.-Suriname Bilateral Dialogue
  • June 2022 – The U.S. Embassy funds a local initiative to develop young environmental activists through a one-year-long program
  • Ongoing – Through grants to local and community organizations, USAID is strengthening the abilities of coastal communities in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, including Suriname, to become more resilient to the impact of natural hazards through the Building Community Resilience (BCR) program in partnership with the Inter-American Foundation
  • Ongoing – USAID funds the Amazon-wide program to build the capacity of indigenous groups to better organize, plan, govern and advocate their rights
  • Ongoing – Suriname is a beneficiary in a USAID-Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) partnership to institutionalize comprehensive disaster management, aimed at reducing exposure to natural disasters and achieving community-level resilience to dangerous climate-related events.
  • Ongoing– Through a partnership with the Inter-American Foundation, Suriname NGOs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) are eligible for small grants to build their resilience to disasters. This includes financial, organizational, informational and social resilience.
  • Ongoing – USAID is supporting Suriname in natural disaster management, through its facilitation of the USAID-NASA supported SERVIR program to use satellite imagery to better understand and target areas of risk.

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