Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2018

Signing St. Maarten Trustfund imminent

Dutch ParliamentTHE HAGUE - The Dutch Government will sign the agreement with the World Bank to set up the St. Maarten Reconstruction Trust Fund on the eve of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which take place in Washington DC April 19-21.

Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag stated this in a letter she sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Tuesday in which she outlined the targets of the Dutch Government delegation at the 2018 Spring Meetings.

The last page of that letter is dedicated to St. Maarten and the World Bank Trust Fund to reconstruct the island. Kaag expounded on the reasons to set up the Trust Fund at the World Bank and the role of the World Bank in the reconstruction programme for St. Maarten.

The Dutch Government decided in November 2017 to reserve 550 million euros for St. Maarten’s reconstruction. Of this amount a maximum of 470 million euros will be spent via the Trust Fund that will be placed at the World Bank.

The Dutch Government selected the World Bank because of its independent position and the availability of broad expertise in the area of reconstruction after natural disasters and increasing resilience against natural disasters. Because St. Maarten is part of the Dutch Kingdom, the country cannot make use of the regular financing of the World Bank, Minister Kaag stated.

The financing from the Trust Fund will support St. Maarten in its reconstruction of vital infrastructure and in improving the country’s resilience against the effects of possible future natural disasters in a sustainable manner.

The World Bank will manage the Trust Fund to secure proper, just and effective spending of the funds and to support St. Maarten in strengthening the institutional structures, as well as the financial-economic policy. Together with St. Maarten, the World Bank is currently working on a recovery plan which will be guiding the spending of the funds.

Considering the special nature of the Trust Fund, the Dutch Government has negotiated a lower price for the reconstruction activities that will not directly be carried out by the World Bank. The payable fee has been reduced to 3 percent, which will save about 4.5 million euros, depending on the role of the World Bank in the execution of the activities that will be financed via the Trust Fund.

A specific date for the signing of the agreement with the World Bank to set up the Trust Fund has not been formally communicated by the Dutch Government as yet. The date April 16 has been mentioned. State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops is slated to visit the World Bank April 15-17.

The World Bank Group and the IMF will host the 2018 Spring Meetings April 19-21. The broad theme will be “Meeting Global Aspirations and Challenges.”Sessions will highlight the importance of investing in people and building resilience, as well as the role of innovation and partnerships, including with the public and private sectors, to unlock opportunities and help countries and people realise their potential.

The Meetings will be attended by approximately 2,800 delegates from the member countries, 350 observer organisation representatives and 800 members of the press. Approximately 550 accredited civil society members will also participate in the Meetings.

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