UNDP “Building Back Better St. Maarten”

UNDP manpower in Simpson Bay.


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — With the substantial damages caused by Hurricane Irma on St. Maarten, the The Dutch government has therefore reserved €550 million for St Maarten’s recovery. Though a significant portion of this money is being administered by a World Bank trust fund, in advance of the trust fund becoming operational, €7 million has been made available for early recovery.

This means that funding will be provided for projects launched after January 2018 and completed by July 2018 which have a direct impact on St Maarten’s population. The ‘UNDP Quick Impact Projects’ being carried out by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) forms part of this early recovery phase.

The United Nations Development Programme has partnered with the St. Maarten Government and the Netherlands to support Sint Maarten’s short-term recovery by focusing on three (3) projects over the next 6 months (June 2018). With the recent establishment of our temporary office in St. Maarten, we are able to properly housed our on-ground project team which is supported by the UNDP Country office (UNDP CO) in Trinidad and Tobago.

UNDP’s Quick Impact Projects recognized under the theme “Building Back Better St. Maarten” focuses on Community Clean-up, fixing of community structures and roof repairs.

Thus far we have been very actively working alongside VROMI for the execution of our Cash for Work, Community Clean-up project. Our Cash for Work project gives persons who are unemployed or underemployed the opportunity to participate in community clean-up and be paid for their work.

With assistance from VROMI we are able to identify areas within all communities that still has a built up of hurricane debris lying around, this can either be private yards or open spaces. Once locations are identified, VROMI selects contractors from their inhouse listing to work at known sites.

Contractors are then expected to use their current staff and hire additional for the execution of the clean-up of the site in which he/ she has been assigned. Person assigned to work with contractors are expected to work for a maximum of twenty (20) days after which staff will be rotated to ensure others who are also currently unemployed or underemployed has the opportunity to also engage in our “Cash for Work” project.

To ensure widespread knowledge, execution and presence of our projects, UNDP recently began having short information sessions with various community groups and councils to inform them of our projects and ways in which they too can participate. During the upcoming weeks, UNDP seeks to engage in various media platforms to shed even more awareness of our presence on the island as well as our projects.

UNDP believes resilience is built through a “building back better”-approach by ensuring development as part of the island’s recovery process.

‘This is one of the early recovery projects financed from the Dutch Recovery Fund for St Maarten, under the auspices of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. €7 million has been made available during the early recovery phase for projects that will have a direct impact on the population of St Maarten.’