SER meets with Development Fund

POSTED: 09/3/13 1:57 PM

St. Maarten – The board of the Social Economic Council (SER) met with the interim director Keith Franca of the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) on Wednesday. The SER has taken the initiative to gain better insight in the activities of the NGO-community. The scope of the SER includes the quality of life and the NGO’s play an important role therein.

In May 2012 the SMDF was established to replace the funding organization Amfo. Amfo received funds from the Dutch government and distributed the funds to eligible and qualifying NGO’s in St. Maarten. The activities of Amfo will cease on St. Maarten the end of this year. The role of SMDF is similar to that which Amfo carried out on St. Maarten and in addition, to develop programs and projects as outlined in its policy document “Contributing to a Community that Cares 2013 – 2023”. Funding is provided by government of St. Maarten and other donors and distributed to qualifying and eligible NGO’s. Therefore the SMDF holds a vital role for the NGO community distributing the funds needed for current and future projects.

Franca gave an eloquent and informative presentation on all the activities of the SMDF from its establishment until today. The SMDF has cooperated closely with Amfo to smoothen the transition through a memorandum of understanding. SMDF has also established a comprehensive policy document ‘A Society That Cares’ to guide the years 2013-2023. Moreover, Franca conveyed that the SMDF already has received funds from the government of St. Maarten to keep a number of current programs and projects running. Franca also elaborated on the transparent application process for NGO’s, public-private partnerships and other initiatives to secure the financial future for NGO’s in St. Maarten. The SER board members and Franca agreed that a thriving NGO-sector would greatly benefit St. Maarten. The SMDF recently opened its office in the Yogesh building.




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