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Reconstruction of Sint Maarten: no new projects, complete firstSearch within the Court of AuditStart zoeken
After Hurricane Irma, the Netherlands made a maximum of € 550 million available for the reconstruction of Sint Maarten in 2017, of which € 470 million through a trust fund at the World Bank. The Netherlands has reserved a maximum of € 101.1 million for this trust fund. The question is whether this is sufficient to carry out all current reconstruction projects such as repairs to houses and schools.
The progress of the reconstruction of Sint Maarten is slow. 44% of the 379 intended homes have now been restored. Work on the first 3 of the 19 damaged schools will be completed at the beginning of 2021. By the end of 2020, 4 of the 12 shelters will be made hurricane-proof. Completion of the remaining 8 shelters was scheduled for February 2021.
The costs for the repair of infrastructure, utilities and solving the waste disposal problem on Sint Maarten are disappointing. The estimated costs for these ongoing projects have been increased by € 58.6 million in 2020. The question is therefore whether the remaining € 101.1 million that the Netherlands has reserved for the reconstruction of St. Maarten is sufficient to complete all projects.
No new projects
The Court of Audit therefore recommends that the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations urge the Dutch representative on the trust fund’s steering group not to consider new projects. It is advisable to give priority to the completion of projects that ensure that the population of St. Maarten will suffer less damage from a possible subsequent hurricane.