Irma Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund Steering Committee meets on Sint Maarten

Irma Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund Steering Committee meets on Sint Maarten

PHILIPSBURG, July 18, 2018 – On July 11-13, 2018, the Steering Committee of the Sint Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund attended the signing of the first Emergency Recovery Grant financed by the Trust Fund – between Sint Maarten Prime Minster Leona Marlin-Romeo and the World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, Mrs. Tahseen Sayed. 

470 million euros (550 million US dollars) has been made available for the Trust Fund by The Netherlands. The first grant, which holds US$55.2 million of this Trust Fund, will be allocated to activities that require emergency funding. 

After the signing, the Steering Committee and connected delegations visited the projects endorsed by the Trust Fund for emergency financing. This included a training and skills development program aimed at supporting the income of hospitality and maritime workers, a vocational school severely damaged by the Hurricane, and a social housing development in need of significant repairs. 

The program also included a look at Sint Maarten’s landfills where works are planned to extinguish underground fires and improve debris management. During its meeting, the Steering Committee agreed to increase resources allocated to debris management in light of technical challenges caused by fire in the dumpsites. 

The Steering Committee was briefed on the advancement of plans to reequip the Sint Maarten Medical Center and to build a new Hospital, which will have a greater capacity to treat patients on the island and can withstand hurricane strength winds. 

The Steering Committee also recognized that a fully functional airport is a critical factor in Sint Maarten’s social and economic recovery and committed to the reconstruction of the airport and the identification of required financing to accomplish this. 

The Steering Committee re-affirmed its commitment to the preparation, approval, and implementation of Trust Fund financed projects with continued urgency. 

Steering Committee members and delegation joins Ministers Lee and Giterson along with representatives of the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation.