Steering Committee welcomes results of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, now one of the fastest disbursing in the Caribbean

New Delhi :The Steering Committee of the Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction, and Resilience Trust Fund, a trust fund financed by the Government of the Netherlands, administered by the World Bank, and implemented by the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB), held its second meeting of 2022 in Sint Maarten this week.

The Steering Committee welcomed the Trust Fund’s rapid implementation with US $360M approved under 10 active projects with almost 50% disbursed. An additional US $154M is now allocated for additional financing and new projects in key priority sectors selected by the Government of Sint Maarten.

The Steering Committee received an update of ongoing and pipeline activities, gave strategic direction on project preparation, and discussed mitigation measures to address risks emerging due to global events. It applauded the decision of the Dutch Council of Ministers to extend the closing date of the Trust Fund to December 2028, a decision that will allow the Fund to deliver full impact with its current resources.

“The Trust Fund continues to play a pivotal role in strengthening Sint Maarten’s resilience,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean and Steering Committee Chair. “By investing in infrastructure and capacities, the Fund is supporting the country’s long-term sustainability and government’s resilience and development agenda.”

The Steering Committee welcomed the signing of a Trust Fund grant of US$26.8 million for the Fostering Resilient Learning Project. The project will rebuild the Sister Marie Lawrence & Charles Leopold Bell schools and the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, while strengthening the government’s management information system for the education sector. The project will restore access to schooling and extra-curricular programs, including for special needs and at-risk youth.

“Against the backdrop of price increases and global supply chain issues, the National Recovery Program Bureau, as the Government’s implementing agency for the Trust Fund, is continuing to make progress with significant and impactful results,” said Marcel Gumbs, Steering Committee member representing the Government of Sint Maarten. “This week we visited the major renovation works ongoing to six apartment buildings in Belvedere, spoke to beneficiaries of the Enterprise Support Project, and met with NGOs who are supported through the Trust Fund. These projects, including the ongoing work at schools, the hospital, and the airport, have a very positive impact on our community.”

“The Government of the Netherlands is proud to see the Fund’s measurable results,” said Frans Weekers, Steering Committee Member representing the Government of the Netherlands. “Extending the Trust Fund until December 2028 will provide additional time to complete critical projects and maximize its contribution to Sint Maarten’s long-term resilience.”

Sint Maarten’s Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs participated in several site visits and Steering Committee sessions, during which she voiced continued commitment of the Government to the development of the waste, wastewater, and social housing sectors and their sustainability. Prime Minister Jacobs expressed “gratitude that the Trust Fund was extended, thereby ensuring completion of ongoing projects and the utilization of committed funds towards much needed infrastructural projects. The signing of the Fostering Resilient Learning Project is another key opportunity to improve the quality of life for teachers, students, and staff.”

The Steering Committee will meet again in the fall of 2022 to discuss the Trust Fund’s implementation progress.

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