WASHINGTON, District of Columbia December 9, 2019 (CMC) – The World Bank, today, signed a US$72 million grant agreement with Sint Maarten for the restoration of the Princess Juliana Airport on the Dutch Caribbean island.
“I’m very pleased with the signing of the agreements of the World Bank and the European Investment Bank for the financing of the reconstruction of Princess Juliana International Airport. Tourism is the backbone of Sint Maarten’s economy, so restoring the full capacity of the airport is of vital importance to the economic recovery and development of our country,” said Prime Minister, Silveria Jacobs.
A World Bank statement said that the project, which is intended to restore full service at the airport, is a tripartite initiative that includes a US$72 million grant from the Sint Maarten Recovery and Reconstruction Trust Fund, financed by the Netherlands government and managed by the World Bank; US$50 million from the European Investment Bank; and seven million US dollars from the Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company (PIJAE).
“The project aims to restore the airport terminal to its pre-hurricane capacity of 2.5 million passengers per year. It also uses ‘building back better principles’ to strengthen resilience to future extreme weather events, thereby supporting continuity of services for an airport that is a critical link for regional transportation,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
The World Bank said that the project presents a comprehensive package of financial and technical support, including financing for PJIAE’s operational costs, in the event of weather-related calamities during reconstruction; airport staff capacity development and management training; and institutional and governance strengthening. All activities will be undertaken in accordance to World Bank’s fiduciary, social and environmental requirements.
The Sint Maarten Trust Fund provides grant financing and technical support to Sint Maarten, in line with the country’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) and its goals of restoring economic, community and governance infrastructure, as well as improving public services.
Four projects, amounting to US$127.7 million, are currently under implementation by the government.