PHILIPSBURG –A delegation of the World Bank is visiting Sint Maarten this week to help with the preparation of the early priority projects. The World Bank delegation is focused on disaster preparedness and emergency recovery projects, such as the repairs of the police stations, urgent repairs of shelters and equipment for the fire department.
The Government of Sint Maarten has identified these projects so that we are prepared for the peak of the hurricane season.
The next step that Sint Maarten has been waiting for is almost here. This Monday coming, the Minister of Finance Michael Ferrier and Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin will travel to Washington DC to witness the signing of the agreement between the Netherlands and the World Bank. This agreement will establish a Trust Fund, which will be managed by the World Bank to help Sint Maarten build back better and increase its resilience. As announced by State Secretary Raymond Knops of the Netherlands, the Trust Fund will hold a maximum amount of 470 million Euros, which is about 580 million US dollars.
What is important for the people of Sint Maarten to understand is that the funding will not all become available next week, next month or even next year. The funding will be made available in tranches and only on a per project basis. Between 2018 and 2022, decisions will have to be made on which recovery and especially resilience projects will be financed by the different tranches. Difficult choices lie ahead for the Government and people of Sint Maarten, because the damage far exceeds the scope of this Trust Fund. As a young country, we have to make these choices wisely, because we can only spend a dollar once.
“To all of those who are saying that things are going too slow: I hear you. However, the reality is that World Bank processes need to be followed to get projects financed by the Trust Fund,” said Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin.
Preparing projects under World Bank standards is new for this Government, and Sint Maarten as country, is an unknown territory for the World Bank. The cooperation with the World Bank and the Netherlands has progressed tremendously since the appointment of this Government in January 2018. The Trust Fund is going to be established next week. The urgent funding needed will become available in the coming weeks this country will build back better in the coming years.
Bron: Daily Herald