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More Dutch funds for Caribbean Netherlands

With focus on good governance and the wellbeing of the people, the Dutch government has allocated about 388 mil­lion euros for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in 2020. This is 24 million euros more than in 2019.

The increase is the result of measures announced in the course of 2019. The so-called free remittance, the amount the three public en­tities receive to help cover their expenses, remains the same: about 42 million eu­ros. The amounts were an­nounced in the Dutch gov­ernment budget that was presented on Tuesday.

Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Kajsa 0llongren stated that her ministry envisioned a realistic standard of living in the Caribbean context for the people of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

“This requires a trustwor­thy and well-functioning public administration, clar­ity on the intended goals and cooperation between the islands and the respon­sible ministries, whereby solid agreements are made about the responsibilities and the results that we aim for,” she stated, also on behalf of State Secretary of Home Affairs and King­dom Relations, Raymond Knops.

The additional funds mostly come from the budgets of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour
SZW and the Ministry of Public Health, Wellbeing and Sports VWS. The SZW Ministry budget mentioned, among other things, the increase of the minimum wage, the elderly pension AOV, the childcare allow­ance and the improvement of day care and afterschool care, all of which relate to the yet-to-be-established social minimum.

The VWS Ministry struc­turally spends 127 million euros on health care in the Caribbean Netherlands. There are also funds for youth facilities, sports and
prevention agreements that were signed with the islands earlier this year. Sex education, sports, a healthy lifestyle and combating the use of alcohol and illegal drugs are focal points in these sports and prevention agreements.

The budget of the Min­istry of Infrastructure and Water Management I&W mentioned an amount of five million euros for in­vestments in 2020-2023 in the improvement of waste management, the preserva­tion of coral reefs and the storage of fuel.

The Daily Herald.

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