Leona: St. Maarten awaiting setup of recovery trust fund
PHILIPSBURG – While grateful for the “excellent cooperation” and financial assistance from the Dutch Government, Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin said the step the country is really awaiting is the actual establishment of the Trust Fund into which the majority of the hurricane recovery aid will be poured by The Hague.
“Only when the Trust Fund is in place can St. Maarten start with the early priority projects that are urgently needed to prepare the country for the next hurricane season,” Romeo-Marlin said in the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.
She emphasised to Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops in a phone conversation earlier this week the need to move along more quickly on the establishment of this fund.
“I am happy to report that he has personally assured me that the agreement with the Dutch and the World Bank will be signed in mid-April in Washington D.C.,” she said.
It was also agreed that once the Trust Fund is in place the Netherlands, World Bank and St. Maarten will not lose any time in rebuilding the country, she said.
“I will endeavour to keep the population of St. Maarten updated as we move towards the start of financing of recovery projects,” she said.