PHILIPSBURG:--- High-level officials from the Resilience, Sustainable Energy and Marine Biodiversity (RESEMBID) Programme’s lead donor agency, the European Union (EU), visited St. Maarten on the 18th and 19th of January to meet the RESEMBID team, visit ongoing projects and gain a keen sense of the work being implemented specifically in Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten.
Primary visiting delegate, Ambassador Rene Van Nes, Head of Delegation, EUD was accompanied by Layla El Khadraoui, EU Commission Programme and Policy Manager who both benefitted from detailed and informative presentations delivered by RESEMBID’s Fabian McKinnon, Programme Director; Edward Turvill, Programme Manager for Resilience and Nyssa Pierre, Manager, Communications and Visibility.
The immensely interactive and intensive sessions provided deep insight into RESEMBID’s operations; project portfolio; and deep dives into the areas of resilience, communications and visibility. McKinnon further explained how RESEMBID is translating €26M into 48 projects for 500,000 people in 12 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).
Additionally, he spoke in detail on the implementation support strategy which focuses on six key elements of assistance to the OCTs; the RESEMBID Portfolio by focus area; the value created by each of the projects being implemented and regional collaboration in each of the OCTs.
Delving into the Resilience portfolio, Turvill spoke to emerging regional themes across the portfolio and OCTs. He focused specifically on Comprehensive Disaster Management, Early Warning Systems, Resilience in Education and Nature-Based Solutions which are cross-cutting in the Marine Biodiversity and Sustainable Energy areas of focus as well.
To the enthusiastic interest from Ambassador Van Nes, Turvill further expounded on the main outcomes and milestones to be achieved by each focus area, how these outcomes are in line with the National Development Strategy of the OCTs and the effect these results will have on the people of the OCTs.
Moreover, RESEMBID’s Communications and Visibility Manager further elaborated on the numerous outreach efforts being executed to ensure maximum visibility for the projects across the OCTs. She highlighted past milestones which have been very successful and announced the RESEMBID Roar which will kick off 2023 and see focused and intentional collaboration with the EU plus a sharp increase in media engagement, storytelling, speaking opportunities for the team at key regional and global events, social media and web site updates.
Ambassador Van Nes applauded the team for their efforts thus far and said he is looking forward to all that is planned for this year and beyond. He asked many probing questions and made valuable and salient suggestions which will certainly redound to the benefit of the programme.
Meanwhile, The RESEMBID team will warmly welcome Jeremie Pellet, Director-General of Expertise France in February to provide an overview of the programme, its projects, and their impact on the OCTs.
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