Financial relationship to be key part of Kingdom vision

POSTED: 07/15/11 12:57 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams says government will look at the financial relationship between St. Maarten and its partners in the Kingdom of the Netherlands as part of an overall visioning process on the future of the Kingdom. A first draft with initial remarks is now under “internal consideration.”

“We believe that in the context of discussing the future vision on the Kingdom we need to talk about the financing or finance component of that relationship. We don’t believe that we should be having a theoretical discussion on the future of the Kingdom without looking at that component. The component will be what will take the place of the funding that up until now is coordinated by Usona, and we believe that finances in the context of the Kingdom should be a topic. We are going to make it a point that, that is a topic as well,” the Prime Minister said.

Funding Agencies

The discussion around the development aid includes coming to a vision on Usona – the Executing Agency Development Funds – and the Antillean Co-Financing Agency (AMFO) which focuses on financing poverty alleviation projects. Usona will continue functioning for a period after the funding dries up in 2012 as a monitoring agency for the ongoing projects. The future of AMFO is less certain past the point of 2012 however because its funding from the Dutch government will have dried up and the government here has not made a concrete commitment to funding it.

“We have right now a discussion about what vehicle, if any, St. Maarten should establish to be a sort of an AMFO or what we called Reda Sosial because that too no longer exists in the context that it was established. We have not finalized that, but the discussion has started on is there a need for such an agency specifically St. Maarten that would not only look at Dutch financing, but at any possible financing you would have especially for social programs,” the Prime Minister said.

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