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PRESS RELEASE November 8, 2018

Sint Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund Update

WASHINGTON D.C. November 8, 2018 - The Steering Committee of the Sint Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund met in Washington D.C. to take stock on the implementation of the three emergency recovery projects amounting to US$102 million and reviewed the preparation for three new projects focused on the reconstruction of the airport terminal (US$50 million), support to small and medium enterprises (US$35 million), and debris removal and suppression of the fire in the Great Lake Pond disposal site (US$25 million).

During the meeting, the Steering Committee reaffirmed its commitment to the preparation of Trust Fund financed projects with continued focus on ensuring the best value for money, and high standards for transparency and accountability.

“In the wake of Irma, Sint Maarten’s economy took a nosedive. Today the Steering Committee decided on projects that will greatly contribute to the rebounding of the country’s economy; the Enterprise Recovery Project will support the recovery of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises. Together with Sint Maarten and the World Bank we agreed upon commitment to the vital rehabilitation of the airport, to the airport’s adequate/strong/improved governance and to measures that will strengthen the airport’s ability to function resiliently in the future and cope with the challenges ahead. Final endorsement by the Netherlands of the financing discussed, will require Dutch participation in the airport’s management / supervisory board.” says Frans Weekers, Steering Committee Representative for the Netherlands.

The Steering Committee also agreed to move forward on the preparation of the Airport Terminal Reconstruction Project for the amount of US$50 million and is expecting additional co-financing from European Investment Bank and other potential donors. The total cost for the reconstruction of the terminal was estimated at US$107 million by the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company. The Steering Committee also endorsed an assessment by the World Bank of the airport’s corporate governance, which is expected to generate recommendations.

“The urgent reconstruction of the airport is of vital importance for the economy and people of Sint Maarten.  We will continue to work with the government of the Netherlands, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and all other stakeholders to support the rehabilitation of the airport, as it is a collective effort for all concerned,” said Marcel Gumbs, Steering Committee Representative for Sint Maarten.

The Steering Committee noted progress being made on completing the preparation of the other two projects on debris removal and enterprise recovery. The tender for firefighting equipment to suppress the fire in the Great Lake Pond Disposal Site was published last week. Also, the Enterprise Recovery project support the recovery of micro, small, and medium sized enterprises through direct financial assistance and contribute to the restoration of economic activity. Both projects are expected to be launched by the end of the year.

“We remain committed to supporting Sint Maarten’s recovery efforts through a trust funded program that aims to build back better with stronger infrastructure, invests in better preparedness and provides social protection to the most vulnerable” added Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.

More information on the Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund here

Last Updated: Nov 08, 2018