On Thursday November 29th during his inaugural visit to St. Eustatius State, Secretary of the Ministry of Interior of Kingdom Relations, Raymond Knops, held talks with act. Island Governor Julian Woodley, Commissioner Derrick Simmons and members of the Island Council. Following what were termed open and frank discussions with both the Executive and Island Council the State Secretary presented Commissioner Simmons with a letter in which the Central Government has granted 2 million euro to the Public Entity of St. Eustatius for repairs in the context of insular tasks following two major hurricanes in September.
This one time contribution of 2 million euro is in addition to what the Central Government has already contributed through emergency funding and what will follow as part of the rehabilitation and reconstruction funds the Ministry will make available to help St. Eustatius. These funds are earmarked for restoration projects which fall under island responsibilities and are subject to, among others, the following conditions. The funds must be spent by December 31st 2019 at the latest; it is not allowed to spend the resources to restore entities governed by private law, the so-called government entities; annually an interim progress report must be submitted no later than June 30th; project proposals need to be submitted by the Island Governor to the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and in the framework of the applicable preliminary supervision, in consultation with the Commission Financial Supervision it will be considered how the project applications will be reviewed and checked.
State Secretary Knops has explained that the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and the Ministry of Infrastructure &Water Management will hold discussions with the Executive Council for their input and the setting of priorities.
In a joint press briefing State Secretary Knops and Commissioner Simmons stated that efforts will be made to work on strengthening the relationship between Central and Local Government in the interest of the people of St. Eustatius.