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Statement on behalf of the Sint Maarten Steering Committee.

~Re: Article on social housing published in the Daily Herald of September 20, 2021~

PHILIPSBURG:---On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund for Recovery Reconstruction and Resilience, the Secretariat wishes to inform the public that no project of US$45 million for social housing initiated by the Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) has ever been received or tabled for consideration by the Trust Fund’s Steering Committee.

Under Trust Fund procedures, project proposals are submitted to the Steering Committee by the Government of Sint Maarten based on its priorities. The authority to allocate funds to projects rests with the Steering Committee of the Trust Fund, not with the World Bank.

As of today, the Trust Fund has financed the repair of 269 units of social housing, and another 64 units of the SMHDF stock are intended to be rebuilt under the Emergency Recovery Project I. In addition, at its meeting of July 14, 2021, the Steering Committee allocated US$20 million for a potential housing project at the request of the Government of Sint Maarten; the modalities of this project are being developed.

Also, an institutional analysis of SMHDF completed in 2020 provided actionable recommendations to SMHDF to improve its financial performance. Trust Fund financing is aimed at investment financing for reconstruction and resilience, not at the provision of subsidies.

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