Usona approved almost 300 projects in first half 2011

POSTED: 08/8/11 12:26 PM

Total funding of 400 million guilders

St. Maarten – Up to the first half of 2011 the execution organization Usona has approved a total of 298 funding requests. These are all Dutch cooperation funds. The funding requests represent 91% of the total available program budgets, an increase of 7% compared to the results of end of 2010. This is one of the highlights from the first half year progress report of Usona. Of the approved amount 73% has been committed in execution assignments, of which 52% has been paid.

 

Spread over all islands the status is currently as follows: for the program Institutional Strengthening and Execution Power (Institutionele Versterking en Bestuurskracht – IVB) 79 projects have been approved, for a total amount of 104 million guilders. For the program Education and Youngsters (Onderwijs en Jongeren) a total amount of 137 million guilders has been invested in 43 projects. The program Social Economic Initiative (Sociaal Economisch Initiatief – SEI) has invested 175 million guilders in 176 projects. As from 2008 a total of 304 million guilders has been settled for all three programs in execution agreements, and payments have been made for 159 million guilders.

The countries Sint Maarten, Curaçao and the public entities Bonaire, Saba and Statia have agreed with the Netherlands that the latter will grant cooperation funds up till and including December 31, 2012. For most of the programs it is possible to reach commitments with third parties up till that date. The execution of the cooperation programs can continue up till 2014. Considering the short remaining period of time the execution shall have to take place with a speedy pace. The islands, Sona and Usona dedicate themselves in order to avoid that the funds expire at the end of the cooperation agreements. This is most urgent in the case of the social and economic SEI-projects.

As a consequence of the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, Stichting Ontwikkeling Nederlandse Antillen has changed its name into Stichting (Foundation) Sona, by means of an amendment of its articles of association.

The execution of the SEI (Social Economic Initiative) program is going satisfactorily. The SEI-program has been set up to offer the islands a good starting position in the transition to the new political structure. For Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius the SEI program is completely in execution; this means that just about all funds have been allocated to projects and the execution is developing in the right direction. Sint Maarten and Curaçao still have a few months to put the remaining funds into execution.

In the first half of 2011 Usona has again approved a few projects that are worth millions. On Sint Maarten these are the expansion of the waste water processing plant on Illidge Road for 14.8 million guilders and the Roundabout Cole Bay phase 2 for 5.8 million guilders. On Curaçao these are the Foundation Education 2010-2012 RKCS for 6 million guilders and Foundation Education Curaçao 2011-2012 SAE for 11.6 million guilders.

Another highlight is the expectation that the European Commission and the entities of the former Netherlands Antilles will sign financial agreements in November of this year. Considering that all islands have requested Sona and its execution organization Usona to remain the administrator, respectively execution organization of the cooperation funds, Sona and the European Commission shall sign new delegation agreements, which will ensure that Usona shall be involved in the execution of the European Union programs, up to 2015 for sure. The 9th EDF programs are all being executed. This entails an amount of over 120 million guilders of European funds for cooperation projects. On Saba the project Under the Hill has started. This project enables infrastructure for the construction of social homes. On Statia 28 kilometers of new water pipes are being installed in order to supply the households on the islands of potable water.

 

 

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