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St. Maarten looking into request for assistance from Cuba, China offers aid

St. Maarten is looking into the possibilities of obtaining assistance in the form of medical technical assistance from Cuba and China has offered the country assistance in the form of medical equipment to help the country in its battle against the highly infectious COVID-19 disease.

Since St. Maarten is part of the Dutch Kingdom, the input of the Dutch government is required. Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Silveria Jacobs said a meeting was held on Monday with Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok and other prime ministers in the Kingdom (Curaçao and Aruba).

During this meeting, the three Caribbean countries in the Kingdom provided an update on measures they are taking in the fight against COVID-19, how they are battling the crisis and provided their updated COVID-19 numbers.

Discussions were also held on the possibilities of seeking international and European assistance.

Jacobs said Blok indicated that he would provide information on this at a later date and she hopes this will be as soon as the next few days. “As part of the Kingdom, we (St. Maarten) cannot access outside funding without the intervention of our Dutch Kingdom partners and as such we have asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to look into the possibilities for funding elsewhere,” the PM said during her national address on Monday evening.

“Minister Blok and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are willing to assist with the discussions of aid and assistance from Cuba and China but expressed the need for all of us to continue to be diligent in these discussions.

“We have requested or looked into the request of getting some medical technical assistance from Cuba and China has offered assistance in form of medical equipment and the like. We are processing the requests and offers and will [give an – Ed.] update as soon as we have been able to make any headway,” Jacobs said.

The Daily Herald.

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