De Weever discusses organizations, project financing with AMFO

POSTED: 03/29/11 2:47 AM

St. Maarten – Minister of Health, Labor, and Social Affairs Cornelius de Weever discussed current issues and future developments, in terms of financing of programs and projects with a delegation from the Antillean Co-Financing Agency (AMFO) on Friday. The meeting was held in the Minister’s office at the Government Administration Building.

“We discussed several important issues meant to improve the working relationship between Government and AMFO, and by extension Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). These organizations serve a great purpose in society, and I urge the community to continue supporting these organizations,” de Weever said.

The main issue during the meeting was synchronizing funding with government policies. This is necessary because no new projects will be financed using Dutch finds as of the end of 2012. At that point AMFO will monitor ongoing projects. They are also hoping to identify new funding sources so the work can continue.

“There needs to be continuity of existing projects through different means of funding, so that once AMFO pulls out, these projects have a chance of survival. If they are in line with current governmental policies they have a better chance of being funded. But this is not guaranteed, so we have to prepare organizations for the transition,” de Weever said.

He added, “Because of the critical circumstances in terms of finances and the need to distinguish among the different projects and programs, there needs to be a more focused approach to the selection of projects for funding.”  

AMFO’s Director Reinoudt Karsdorp added, “The aims and objectives of AMFO are indeed beneficial; to not only reduce poverty, but also to serve a good purpose in society, through the funding of these NGOs, which originates most of the time, from a bottoms-up approach. However, there needs to be a more structured approach. NGOs have to work closer together, share experiences and ideas, share knowledge, and in turn, the operations will be smoother and the community will benefit more.”

AMFO has funded, amongst others, No Kidding with our Kids Foundation, Helping Hands Foundation, Maximizing Pupils Changes Foundation, St Maarten Independent Theatre Foundation, Jewel, St Maarten Star Foundation, among others.

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