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IDB - Inter-American Development Bank

01/25/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/25/2017 12:21

Suriname implements rehabilitation program to restore Paramaribo’s old town with IDB support

Suriname will launch an urban rehabilitation program in Paramaribo with a $20 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The project seeks to contribute to the socio-economic revitalization of the city's historic center in order to attract back residents and businesses to the area; restore its cultural heritage value; reduce traffic congestion; and strengthen the institutional framework for its sustainable management.

Paramaribo, Suriname's capital, has 243,556 inhabitants, or 45 percent of the country's population. The old town, consisting of a core of 48 hectares and a buffer zone of more than 100 hectares, in 2002 was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This concentration of historic and cultural heritage buildings and monuments as well as of urban sites has great potential to contribute to the city's sustainable and equitable development. Yet, the area suffers from physical, social and economic decay, which undermines its potential and poses a threat to its physical assets and its UNESCO Heritage Site designation.

The program will renovate the city's public spaces, rehabilitate heritage buildings, create new housing projects in order to offer renting options to a mixed-income population, and develop new business strategies with private sector participation. 'The projects' design will adopt a climate-intelligent infrastructure approach that will take adaptation and mitigation aspects into account,' said Jesús Navarrete, IDB project team leader.

The program will also finance the strengthening of the Suriname Heritage Foundation and the creation of key planning tools to guide the old town's sustainable revitalization process.

The IDB's $20 million loan is for a 25-year term, with a 5.5-year grace period, at a LIBOR based interest rate.

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The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region's most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives.