PHILIPSBURG:--- Last week the World Bank team started its preparatory activities for the recovery and reconstruction of Sint Maarten. The Ministry of General Affairs and especially the Department of Foreign Relations has worked tirelessly to assist and facilitate the World Bank team.
Over the next couple of weeks the World Bank team will continue with various preparatory activities. The Ministry of General Affairs will continue to assist in organizing meetings and preparing the relevant legal documents. It is expected that the first draft of the National Recovery Plan 2.0 will be sent to the Council of Ministers in the week of February 12th.
The 2nd step is that the Netherlands and the World Bank will conclude a RAS (reimbursable advisory services) contract. This contract formalizes a number of roles of the World Bank. Legal experts of the Netherlands, Sint Maarten and the World Bank are currently discussing the structure of this contract including the possibility of a subsidiary agreement / formal letter in which Sint Maarten acknowledges specific obligations vis a vis the World Bank.
Meanwhile, Sint Maarten has provided input on the terms of reference for the RAS. The TOR has been approved by the Council of Ministers on January 18th. Based on the TOR the World Bank is currently fulfilling its roles. Parts of the RAS will be executed before the establishment of the Trust Fund, whereas other activities such as capacity building can continue after the Trust Fund is operational. The establishment of the Trust Fund will happen on the basis of three important documents.
Administrative Agreements between the Netherlands and the World Bank; this legally binding agreement between the World Bank and the Netherlands that establishes the conditions under which the funds are accepted and executed. The Netherlands will provide funds to the World Bank in stages/portions.
The Netherlands intends to pay everything out of the 550 million euros that is reserved for the reconstruction of Sint Maarten. This includes the different stages to the World Bank, the costs of the additional border control, the setting up of the Integrity Chamber, existing and future budget /liquidity support, early recovery projects (outside of the Trust Fund) and possible additional projects.
In conclusion, I want to thank all the ministries, civil servants and persons that have made a contribution in one way or another thus far in this process with the World Bank and the Netherlands to ensure that the recovery and reconstruction of Sint Maarten takes place in the proper manner.