Philipsburg, Sint Maarten, June 22, 2023 - The World Bank-managed Sint Maarten Reconstruction, Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund (SXM TF) has for the second time approved additional funding of US$19.5 million for the Emergency Recovery Project I (ERP-I). This brings the project’s total allocation to US$119.7 million. ERP-I will also be extended by 13 months, with a new closing date of December 31, 2025.
The Project has contributed to Sint Maarten’s immediate emergency recovery needs after Hurricane Irma, with a longer-term vision to strengthen institutional capacity to manage resilient recovery and reconstruction. This includes: (i) emergency measures for the recovery of disaster first responders and preparedness facilities; (ii) restoring and increasing the resilience of utility services; (iii) housing and public buildings repair and reconstruction; and (iv) institutional support for reconstruction.
The additional funds will cover the financing gap necessary to complete critical repair and reconstruction activities identified by the Government of Sint Maarten to ensure community resilience. These include schools, sports facilities, and sports and community centers requiring repairs, major renovation, or reconstruction. School gyms are essential facilities for students’ physical education, while repairs to community sports facilities enhance citizens’ health and social cohesion, improving overall community resilience.
Although these repairs were identified as critical during project preparation, the funds initially available and the first additional funding tranche were insufficient to undertake repairs to school gyms and sports facilities, given more urgent repair needs in the other public buildings delivering critical services.
“Activities to be undertaken with the additional funding support Sint Maarten’s goal of creating a sustainable and resilient society, as the project addresses the needs of the people, such as rehabilitating and reconstructing vital community buildings”, said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Director for Caribbean Countries.
Despite implementation challenges due to the global economic contraction, supply chain disruptions, and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Project has achieved significant results. The project has accelerated the recovery of disaster response by repairing the radiosonde building, two police stations, 11 emergency shelters, and has provided critical equipment and vehicles to the fire and ambulance departments. Support to water and electricity infrastructure has also been provided through repairs to water tanks and the trenching and placement of 8.5km low voltage tension electricity cables.
Additionally, repairs to 461 private and social homes and six schools have been completed, with ongoing repairs to several homes, schools, and sports facilities. The project also supported the establishment of the National Recovery Program Bureau, including staffing for projects under implementation and the expansion of the office building.
“I am delighted at this significant boost in financial support; it reinforces our commitment to rebuilding our beloved country in a stronger and more sustainable manner. The partnership between the Government of the Netherlands, the Government of Sint Maarten, and the World Bank has been instrumental in driving our reconstruction efforts and ensuring the realization of our long-term development goals. With the Trust Fund serving as a vital source of funding, we have been able to make substantial progress in our recovery journey,” said Silveria E Jacobs, Prime Minister of Sint Maarten.
“I am confident that this added funding will contribute to the continued advancement of our infrastructure, resilience-building, and socioeconomic development; all projects under ERP-1 remain a priority for the government. I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the Government of the Netherlands, the World Bank, and all those involved in the implementation of the Fund, particularly the NRPB (National Recovery Program Bureau). Together, we will build a stronger and more prosperous future for the people of Sint Maarten.”
For more information, please visit: www.worldbank.org/caribbean