A total of 371 million from Dutch cooperation funds for 269 projects in the Antilles


WILLEMSTAD - The implementation of the new cooperation programmes for the Social Economic Initiative ('SEI'), Institutional and Governmental Strengthening ('IVB'), Education & Youth, and Security Plan II ('PVNAII') signed in 2008, went off satisfactorily in 2010.

The political transition per 10-10-10 led to a higher workload for all parties.

The open communication between the representatives of the Netherlands, the entities Saba, St Maarten, St Eustatius, Bonaire, Curaçao and (U)SONA provided a decisive continuation of the work.

The progress made in the cooperation programmes has contributed in a positive manner to the creation of the new constitutional entities.

The SONA Board states to be pleased with the fact that since the inception of the programs in 2008 until the end of December 2010, a total of 269 financing agreements for projects have been signed with the entities.

Together they account for more than 84% of the total cooperation funds allocated by the Netherlands for these programs.

The countrywide projects within the cooperation programmes of the former Netherlands-Antilles have been transferred to the new countries Curaçao, St. Maarten and the BES Islands.

In the context of this transfer, in various meetings the new administrators of the entities have been informed on the operation and content of programmes and projects.

On the BES Islands, the implementation of the projects funded by the Netherlands through (U)SONA had a very smooth transfer in this transitional phase. Where possible, the implementation of the projects was accelerated with the support of (U)SONA and the Netherlands.

In all programs a clear shift of accent is noticeable, from submission of projects to implementation. Because of the end of the programmes and the impending deadlines for concluding of implementation obligations for instance, in a short period of time the project owners and (U)SONA took on a tremendous amount of work.

In 2010 (U)SONA has approved on average 40% more financial commitments than in 2009; 112 projects have been approved.

In addition to the Dutch development funds, (U)SONA also manages other funds, such as those of the 9th European Development Fund (EDF).

At the end of November the last of the 12 contracts for the implementation within the Bonaire Sewerage & Sanitation program and Urban Infrastructures for the Socially Deprived Areas program on the 5 islands of the Netherlands Antilles, was signed.

With that, almost all the resources of both programs have been converted into implementing contracts. The Islands and (U)SONA have successfully completed a decisive phase in the programs thanks to their drive.

That has secured 40 million Euros of European development funds for the Netherlands Antilles. The implementation of these projects from the 9th EDF is still continuing for some time to come. Currently the implementation of the 10th EDF is being prepared.

The Netherlands, together with the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles have agreed that up to and including 2012 deposits will take place for the current cooperation programmes that run through SONA.

The implementation of the projects within the programmes can continue until 2014. Since its foundation in 2004, SONA has dedicated itself to the managing of the effective and rightful use of the funds made available by the Netherlands, and will continue to work for a good use of the resources.

The annual report 2010 can be found on www.usona.an

Photo; SXMIslandtime.com file photo of R. Doran, director USONA during the signing of a financial agreement on Sxm.

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