Special 2M-euro grant for Saba

The Executive Council of Saba will receive a one-time spe­cial assistance grant of two million euros to cope with the damage caused by Hurri­canes Irma and Maria, Dutch State Secretary of Home Af­fairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops announced during his visit to Saba this week.

The one-time special grant of two million, which the St. Eustatius Government will also receive, will be added to the total amount of 67 mil­lion euros the Dutch Gov­ernment has made available for the two islands to carry out the necessary reconstruc­tion work.

Of the 67 million euros pledged by the Dutch Gov­ernment and secured in the so-called 2017 Autumn Note (“Najaarsnota”), Saba will receive about 25 million euros, which will be used to repair the sea harbour, for the restoration of damaged homes as well as the garbage incinerator.

The Ministry of Home Af­fairs and Kingdom Relations BZK and the Ministry of In­frastructure and Hydraulic Engineering Works I&W will discuss prioritising and the island’s input with the local Executive Council.

Knops, who visited Saba on Tuesday and Wednesday, had what he called “constructive talks” with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Commis­sioners Bruce Zagers and Rolando Wilson, and mem­bers of the Island Council. The Dutch Governing Ac­cord states that additional investments will be made in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba on the condition that good governance and solid finances are sufficiently se­cured. “Saba has complied with those conditions for years,” it was stated in a press release on Wednesday. Knops also pledged to in­vest in the development of the Saba government organ­isations. A contribution of US $688,000 will be made available to further develop the local government and the improving of services to the island’s residents.

Knops repeated what he had said during the recent han­dling of the 2018 draft bud­get for Kingdom Relations in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament: “More for more, less for less.” This means that he finds it im­portant to strive for quality, custom-fit and goal-driven activities in the cooperation with the Caribbean Nether­lands. “The BZK Ministry and Saba are giving content to this, jointly.”

The Daily Herald.

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