CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS – On Tuesday November 28th the State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), Raymond Knops, began a first familiarization visit to Saba. Upon arrival he spoke with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, the commissioners and members of the Island Council. The talks were constructive. As a result of hurricanes Irma and Maria the Windward Islands have to make the necessary repairs in the context of their insular tasks. In this regard, the State Secretary has granted a one-time special allowance of 2 million euro to the Executive Council of Saba.
In the coalition agreement states that additional investment will be made in the Caribbean Netherlands under the condition that good governance and financial accountability are guaranteed at a sufficient level. Saba meets those conditions Saba for years. The State Secretary has pledged further to invest in the development of the local government organizations. A contribution of $688,000 is granted for the further development of the organization of the Public Entity of Saba and improving the service to the citizen.
State Secretary Knops repeated his statement during the last budgetary debate of Kingdom Relations in the Second Chamber: “More for more, less for less”. With this the State Secretary is referring to the importance of quality, customization and solution-oriented activities in the cooperation. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Saba are together now giving this to follow-up.
This amount is in addition to the rehabilitation and reconstruction funds that are being made available following the damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. In the framework of the reconstruction, an amount of approximately $25 million will be made available for Saba, for the recovery of the (sea) port, the incineration and restoration of homes. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and I &W will enter into talks with the Executive Council about prioritization and the input of the island.