THE HAGUE–A “considerable part” of the 550-million-euro St. Maarten Reconstruction Fund paid for by the Dutch Government will be allocated via a trust fund at the World Bank.
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Kajsa Ollongren stated this in her answers to recently-submitted written questions of the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament in relation to a change to the 2017 budget of Kingdom Relations.
According to Ollongren, the intention is to channel a considerable part of the recovery programme for St. Maarten via a trust fund at the World Bank. Details are not available as yet, because the talks about the fund’s framework and design are still ongoing with the World Bank.
Also being discussed with the World Bank is the payment in tranches, which involves several considerations, stated Ollongren. “The Netherlands has to have sufficient possibilities to redirect the money flow, while at the same time the tranches have to be sufficiently large to remain workable for the World Bank.”
It is Ollongren’s intention to deploy the World Bank in the drafting of an integral recovery plan based on which the scope of the Dutch contribution to the Reconstruction Fund can be determined. The Dutch Government has already reserved 550 million euros for this fund.
It was explained that the amount of 550 million euros was based on several factors: earlier contributions to recovery programmes such as the one after Hurricane Luis in 1995, a first estimate of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, and the cost associated with the “securing of a proper spending of the means.”
A limited financial part of the reconstruction funds will be allocated to the St. Maarten Government as direct support to help cover the budget deficit. For this purpose, the Dutch Government has reserved 41 million euros which will be deducted from the 550 million euros.
The situation for St. Eustatius and Saba is different. These two islands, which are public entities of the Netherlands, have already started with the reconstruction and are being (financially) supported by the Dutch Government.
A total of 67 million euros has been made available for the recovery of St. Eustatius and Saba. Also, two million euros has been available to assist the local governments in covering their tasks during the reconstruction phase.
The Dutch assistance is coordinated by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK. Recovery plans are being drafted for larger projects such as the harbours and airports. The Dutch Ministries are assisting with these plans.
The speed of the execution of these larger projects largely depends on the capacity of the involved project management organisations, the construction companies and the local governments.
Bron: Daily Herald