PHILIPSBURG, St Maarten (CMC) – The World Bank has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthening disaster resilience in the Caribbean.
World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar, ended a three-day visit on Thursday, after addressing the Caribbean Oversees Countries and Territories Resilience Summit, as well as visiting recovery projects and meeting with various stakeholders to discuss progress following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year.
During his meetings with Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo, ministers of her government and the General Affairs Committee of Sint Maarten’s Parliament, Familiar reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to help Sint Maarten in accelerating its recovery efforts and strengthening resilience after the hurricane.
In six months since the establishment of the St Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund, the World Bank said that the island had received US$103 million of the US$134 million pledged by the Netherlands.
It said these three projects focusing on disaster management, housing and shelter repairs; income support and training; and the building of a new resilient hospital are “aligned with the St. Maarten government’s priorities established by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.
“Advance preparation is underway for four new projects, as well as the procurement in the coming weeks of heavy fire-fighting equipment for putting out fires in the Great Lake Pond disposal site,” the bank said, noting that Familiar also visited the airport and the Great Lake Pond dumpsite.
Familiar also met with students benefiting from the Emergency Income Support and Training project funded by the Trust Fund and implemented by VSA and the St Maarten Training Foundation.
The project will provide training and a stipend for up to 1,800 people who are unemployed or underemployed following the hurricane.