Published On: Fri, Dec 22nd, 2017

Reconstruction of Sint Maarten starts

Wederopbouw Sint Maarten november 2017

The Hague — It is now possible to start immediately with the reconstruction of Sint Maarten. State Secretary Knops wrote this in a letter to the Second Chamber. Now that Sint Maarten has agreed to the establishment of an Integrity Chamber and the strengthening of border control by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and the Dutch Customs, the two conditions that have been imposed on the reconstruction aid have been met.

Via a bridging phase, the so-called early recovery, 7 million euros is immediately made available for projects that can start quickly and have a direct impact on the population. This prevents downtime and a deterioration of the starting position for reconstruction.

The focus is on meeting the basic needs of the residents of Sint Maarten. Special attention is paid to the most vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. For example, projects are being started for the restoration of houses in order to offer these vulnerable groups a roof over the short term and attention is paid to psycho-social support. In addition, school meals are provided. Efforts are also being made to restore employment by providing microcredits to (re) starting entrepreneurs and stimulating innovative entrepreneurship in collaboration with Dutch startups. In addition, the focus is on (re) training of young people and unemployed catering and tourism staff to the building and care sector.

In order to guarantee the lawful and efficient use of these funds, a contribution is made to reputable international and local non-governmental organizations (such as the United Nations, the Red Cross and the White Yellow Cross) and links up with existing initiatives.

After the bridging phase, the World Bank will manage a substantial part of the financial contribution of the Dutch government to the reconstruction of Sint Maarten. In this way the integer, lawful and efficient use of the funds is guaranteed. The World Bank has extensive international experience with reconstruction programs, including in the region and with small islands states.

Source: Rijksoverheid.nl. Photo BZK / Sybren van Dam