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• donderdag 2 december 2021 00:11

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DH | US $414.47m transferred to Trust Fund so far, final tranche by September

~ 10 projects under implementation ~

PHILIPSBURG–A total of US $414,470,000 of the $554,246,800 that the Dutch government has allocated for the country’s Hurricane Irma recovery has been transferred to the St. Maarten Trust Fund to date and the final tranche is expected to be provided this month.

The final tranche that the government of the Netherlands is still to transfer stands at $139,771,000.

In giving an update on the funds, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs told Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday that the investment income to date is approximately $137.3 million, which reflows to the Trust Fund for projects. A total of 10 projects are currently under implementation for $311.3 million, of which $137.3 million has been disbursed to date.

Overview of projects

A total of $100.2 million was made available for the Emergency Recovery Project, which is being executed by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB). An amount of $22.5 million was available for the Emergency Income Support and Training Project, which was executed by NRPB.

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The Hospital Resiliency and Preparedness Project, being executed by St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) has $28.6 million available.

The Emergency Debris Management Project has $25 million available and $60 million reserved and is being executed by NRPB.

The much talked-about Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project has $72 million available and $20 million reserved and is being implemented by Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) and NRPB.

The Red Cross Roof Repair Project, which has now ended, was executed at a cost of $3.8 million. The latter was implemented by Red Cross Netherlands.

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The Enterprise Support Project has an available amount of $35 million and is being implemented by NRPB.

Resources for Community Resilience has an available amount of $7.2 million and is being implemented by VNGI International.

The Child Resilience and Protection Project has $5 million available and is being executed by UNICEF Netherlands.

The Digital Government Transformation Project has $12 million available and is being implemented by NRPB.

The Fostering Resilient Schools Project, currently in preparation, has $30 million and is being executed by NRPB.

The Mental Health project has $8 million available and the housing for this project $20 million. The implementing agencies for the latter two are still to be decided on.

Project updates

Under the Emergency Recovery Project 1, a total of 269 of 323 social homes and 133 of 185 private homes have been repaired. Also, $6.2 million in repairs were conducted to public buildings.

The emergency response capacity was increased with necessary equipment and a fleet of 52 vehicles have been delivered to the government to enhance operations. Three custom-made fire trucks also arrived in the country on August 27.

The LiDAR terrain mapping was also completed for high quality aerial imagery data for modelling systems to improve disaster resilience; repairs were done to four GEBE water tanks, increasing daily storage capacity by 47 per cent and three schools were fully repaired for $1.7 million.

Eleven emergency shelters were also repaired; 402 private and social homes were repaired; there was increased resilience for emergency services and safer schools were created.

As of August 2021, $46.5 million had been disbursed from the available budget of $100.2 million.

The second batch of school repairs is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2021. The tender process was launched on August 31, 2021. GEBE’s trenching tender launched and works and repairs to 64 St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) apartment units are expected to start in the fourth quarter of this year. Four new ambulances are also expected in the first quarter of 2022.

A total of 78 shipwrecks were removed under the Emergency Debris Management Project, the objective of which is to finance the management, clean-up and removal of debris, and enhance the country’s solid waste disposal sites.

The Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) is in the final stages of preparation (see related story) and 91 per cent of the shoreline has been cleaned. Additionally, there has been $2.1 million invested in heavy equipment to improve the landfill operations.

Of the $5.7 million approved for small businesses under the Enterprise Support Project, $4.9 million has been disbursed. A total of 71 businesses were approved, including restaurants (nine per cent); real estate management and business activities (33 per cent); healthcare services (four per cent); transport (16 per cent); construction and engineering (nine per cent); wholesale trade and vehicle repair (14 per cent); and “others” such as landscaping/gardening, fishing and repairing of boats (15 per cent).

Jacobs also updated on the Emergency Income Support and Training Programme under which 1,960 beneficiaries were trained; the Hospital Resiliency and Preparedness Project; the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project; the Digital Government Transformation Project; the Resources for Community Resilience Project; the Fostering Resilient Learning Project; the Mental Health Project and its Housing Project.

The 10 projects under implementation are at a cost of $311.3 million. A total of $137.3 million has been disbursed to date. Jacobs said a lot of work still remains to be done.

Bron: Daily Herald

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