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SMMC hosts World Bank Project Launch

SMMC hosts World Bank Project Launch

SMMC is hosting a “Project Launch” with a series of workshops which are conducted by World Bank representatives from October 15 – 17. The workshops are aimed at providing guidance in the execution of the projects that will be accomplished using the grant funds.

SMMC is the recipient of a USD 25 million grant for the St. Maarten Hospital Resiliency and Preparedness project, which will contribute to the critical rehabilitation of the existing hospital and construction of a new and larger facility, more resilient to climate shocks. The grant agreement is in effect and SMMC is entering in the execution phase of the St. Maarten Hospital Resiliency and Preparedness Project. With the workshops SMMC will be receiving information and hands-on training on how to navigate the World Bank processes efficiently.

During the opening meeting of the Project Launch, Minister Emil Lee stated: “The commencement of the St Maarten Hospital resiliency and preparedness project as marked by the commencement of the work to reinforce the current hospital roof makes this project a model project for St Maarten’s recovery process.  Through the team effort of the Health Tripartite (VSA, SMMC and SZV) together with the assistance of the World Bank task team leaders, we have secured the funding for the hospital resilience project.  As important as the funding itself, the timing of the funding is equally critical.  By financing the project from the first tranche, this saves the project lots of money in planning and efficiency. Step by step, we are delivering affordable quality healthcare, close to home!”

General Director of SMMC, Kees Klarenbeek stated: “SMMC is now in the execution phase of the project. With the support from our World Bank team we are confident we will effectively comply with the World Bank procedures in order to receive the funds for the different project items within a reasonable timeframe. The people of St. Maarten will be provided with access to a broader range of healthcare services on the island in a safer and more resilient facility, better prepared to deliver health services in case of another disaster.  Hereby SMMC would like to thank the Dutch Government for making the Trust Fund possible. Also our gratitude goes towards the excellent cooperation between Ministry of VSA, World Bank, SZV and the entire SMMC team” Klarenbeek concluded.

Chris Johnson, head of the Dutch Representation Office stated: “A new hospital and improved healthcare is crucial to Sint Maarten. The St. Maarten Hospital Resiliency and Preparedness Project serves as a great example of the type of projects that can be made possible with financing from the Trust Fund."

Carolyn Shelton, Task Team Leader and Senior Operations Officer for the World Bank stated: “We’re very pleased with the pace of detailed, technical project preparation and that the project is moving forward with implementation. This project will not only focus on a new building, but will also improve the quality and scope of health services for the population of St. Maarten”.

Last week, Trust Fund Steering Committee members Marcel Gumbs and Frans Weekers accompanied by Netherlands Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Reconstruction Program Director Hans van der Stelt, were updated on the progress and plans for St. Maarten’s new general hospital and were pleased with the project.

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