12.5 million euros for Saba harbour project

Saba gets 12.5 million euros for the Fort Bay Harbour expansion and renova­tion project. St. Eustatius gets 7 million euros to tackle the coastal erosion. The Dutch Council of Ministers on Friday approved the funds as part of the so-called Re­gional Envelope.

In total, 30 million euros will be invested Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba to give the social and economic development an “ex­tra impulse,” said State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops af­ter Friday’s Council of Ministers meeting.

Of the 30 million euros from the regional Envelope, a second, though much smaller amount will go towards Saba: 1 million euros for the development of agricul­ture. Especially the 12.5 million for the harbour project is very good news for Saba.

Saba’s Fort Bay Harbour

Commissioner Bruce Za­gers: “For Saba to get this large amount of money from the Regional Enve­lope is a true sign of the motto ‘more for more’ in action. This is also an in­dication that the Dutch government sees the re­building and expansion of our harbour as an impor­tant project for Saba’s de­velopment. This is a great achievement for Saba and I am grateful for all those who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

For Bonaire, the Dutch government is reserving 5 million euros for three projects: a more sustain­able fuel provision, 2.5 million euros to stimulate social housing and 1.5 mil­lion euros for the develop­ment of agriculture and the slaughter house.

Funds are also reserved for a job centre in Bonaire to stimulate labour media­tion, as well as improving the connection between education and the labour market. However, the funds for Bonaire will not become immediately avail­able, at least not until good governance and solid finan­cial management have been achieved.

Minister of Agricul­ture and Nature Carola Schouten stated in a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Friday that State Sec­retary Knops is consulting with the Bonaire Executive Council about the required improvements and the way he can support the local government in achieving this.

The state secretary wants to arrive at a formal accord with the Bonaire govern­ment in which the priority themes are identified and concrete content is given to good governance. The funds for Bonaire will be deployed as soon as this ac­cord is sealed, agreements have been made on good governance and financial management, and the man­agement plans for the proj­ects are ready.

Knops said on Friday he plans to visit the Windward Islands and Bonaire in the first week of September, to­gether with his colleagues, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen and State Secretary of So­cial Affairs and Labour Ta­mara van Ark.

The 30 million euros from the Regional Envelope is assigned to the Caribbean Netherlands because the Dutch government finds it important to improve the economic perspective on the islands by strengthen­ing the infrastructure and reducing poverty. In the Dutch Government Ac­cord it was agreed to invest in the strengthening of the regions. The Caribbean Netherlands is one of the six regions.

The Daily Herald.

 

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