VNG International experts with Minister of VROMI Miklos Giterson and Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin on Wednesday.
PHILIPSBURG–VNG International will provide much-needed technical assistance to the Ministry of VROMI thanks to Netherlands State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops making recovery funds available for the organisation.
Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Miklos Giterson held a press conference on Wednesday thanking the group for its continued support to the island.
“We are here today to acknowledge and commemorate the partnership forged between VNG International and the government of St. Maarten, and more specifically the Ministry of VROMI. For many months during 2018, VNG International has supported the government of St. Maarten to enhance resilience and preparedness for future disasters.
“Within this framework, support has been given to help in modernising building models to be more resilient to the natural hazards. Help in identifying environmental norms that will contribute to more sustainability as well as providing necessary disaster training and preparedness were services all rendered,” stated Giterson.
VNG International will provide on-the-job coaching to several departments within the Ministry of VROMI. This new cooperation started with a kick-off session on Wednesday. Disaster expert Eilien Deurloo has already started with the training on the job within the Department of Inspection. She is currently working on environmental issues and drafting proper overviews of unsafe environmental situations and illegal building constructions.
“We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of a second expert who will work on dealing with the backlogs in the Permits and Inspection Departments along with assistance in handling complex cases and requests for land in long lease.
“This cooperation, based on mutual trust and respect between VROMI and VNG International, is an important factor, as both parties are responsible for the success of this project.
“In the period January-July 2019 additional Dutch municipal experts will come to St. Maarten to work together with VROMI and hopefully this will be expanded to other ministries as well.
“I would like to thank our expert Deurloo for her time here in St. Maarten. I trust that the experience has been a pleasurable one for her and I thank her for her contribution. I look forward to the continued partnership with VNG International and maybe one day we may be able to send one of our own ‘home-grown’ experts over to the Netherlands to share our St. Maarten expertise there,” stated the Giterson during the press conference.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/83648-vng-and-government-initiate-kick-off-sessions