Netherlands provides millions to help St Martin recover from COVID-19

The Netherlands-financed Sint Maarten Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience Trust Fund has approved US$3.6 million for a rapid response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) following a request from the Sint Maarten government and a rapid technical review by the World Bank.

The World Bank said that this support complements the assistance from the Netherlands’ Ministry of Public Health (WVS).

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“This fast-track approval of the additional financing from the Trust Fund resources will allow the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) to immediately purchase necessary medical equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals under the existing Hospital Resiliency and Preparedness Project,” said the Washington-based financial institution in a statement.

“Pharmaceutical orders have been placed, and SMMC, with support from the World Bank, is identifying suppliers for items in high demand due to the global pandemic,” it added.

The World Bank said the additional resources help increase SMMC’s current capacity to provide intensive care.

It said isolation units for severe cases, personal protective equipment, and medical supplies will be put in place.

The World Bank said the funds will also support efforts to install, equip and staff a treatment pavilion adjacent to SMMC that is provided by the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) for COVID-19 triage and treatment.

“Fast and flexible procedures under Trust Fund financing have allowed for the immediate availability of resources to help SMMC form a robust response to COVID-19,” the World Bank said.