WASHINGTON, April 16, 2018—The State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Affairs of the Netherlands, Raymond Knops, signed today an agreement with World Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva in the presence of Sint Maarten Prime Minister Leona M. Marlin-Romeo, to channel 470 million euros (about US$580 million) through a Trust Fund managed by the World Bank to help Sint Maarten build back better and increase resilience following the devastation caused by hurricane Irma.
“I am delighted to team up with the World Bank, which has a proven track record in the successful execution of this type of projects. Together with Sint Maarten, we want to rebuild the island in a sustainable and hurricane-proof manner”, said Raymond Knops, State Secretary for the Interior and Kingdom Affairs of the Netherlands.
The Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fundwill support recovery efforts and help the government of Sint Maarten prepare projects with well-defined development objectives, and provide capacity support for effective, efficient and transparent project execution.
“The World Bank is working closely with Sint Maarten and other Caribbean countries to help their people recover and rebuild after the recent hurricanes,” said Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Chief Executive Officer. “We are fast-tracking the preparation of emergency projects and using our global and regional expertise to speed up reconstruction, build resilience, and support all of those who have been affected”.
In Sint Maarten, the World Bank has already supported the government to carry out a Recovery Needs Assessment and prepare a National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP); and is now helping set up a Recovery Bureau to guide the recovery, reconstruction and resilience efforts. According to the post disaster assessment, the effects of Hurricane Irma are estimated at US$1.8 billion (180% of GDP), affecting 90 percent of all infrastructure and large parts of the natural environment.
“This is an important step and we look forward to working with the World Bank and the Netherlands in speeding up recovery efforts and returning Sint Maarten to its position as a beacon of prosperity by building back better”, said Prime Minister Leona M. Marlin-Romeo.
As the next hurricane season is closing in, the World Bank teams are working with the governments of the Netherlands and Sint Maarten to fast track the preparation of three emergency projects amounting of up to US$128 million. These projects will focus on: recovery and disaster preparedness and the rehabilitation of water and electricity utilities; debris removal; as well as skills and hospitality training and a cash for work program to provide affected communities with a social safety net in times of economic uncertainty. Future projects will continue to be selected by agreement from the steering Committee composed of representatives from the Netherlands, Sint Maarten and the World Bank, based on the needs identified in the NRRP.
Contacts: In Washington: Christelle Chapoy, (202) 361 4255, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Sint Maarten, Giselle York, (721) 520-4560,Giselle.York@sintmaartengov.org