Alexandra van Huffelen

VNG and BZK launch new Caribbean support program

VNG and BZK launch new Caribbean support program
THE HAGUE – State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen (Kingdom Relations and Digitization) and chairman Jan van Zanen of the Association of Dutch Municipalities have jointly launched the new VNG-BZK support program for Caribbean governments.

Through the Caribbean Exchange Facility, the 6 Caribbean islands are provided with assistance with concrete capacity, learning or advice needs in the field of government issues in a broad sense. Central to the program is that the islands are provided with municipal, but also provincial and departmental expertise. In concrete terms, this will take the form of short and medium-term expert missions, carried out on the islands, and 2 3-month internships for Caribbean staff in a municipality. Municipalities and Caribbean governments often face similar challenges, which means that further knowledge sharing has added value.

The new vice president of the collectivité Mrs DAVIS Bernadette.

Around the end of the summer, information meetings will be organized for municipalities, provinces and departments that want to contribute expertise to the program. The exchange facility is a result of the letter of intent signed in 2019 for a Caribbean exchange network. The Caribbean Exchange Facility, a one-year pilot, is being implemented by VNG International, the organization for international cooperation of the VNG.

VNG International has extensive experience in project-based collaboration with the Caribbean. During the political structure change of the islands in 2010, VNG International implemented an internship and exchange program for the Caribbean governments, and since 2018 VNG International has been working closely with the government of Sint Maarten in the reconstruction after Hurricane Irma through several programs to strengthen the government.

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