WIB partners with Development Fund

PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) has welcomed the Windward Islands Bank (WIB) as its first corporate donor as the fund furthers its commitment to expanding its social development and impact on the community.

Representatives of the two entities signed a Fund Management Agreement on Friday, August 11.

As a corporate donor to SMDF, WIB will directly contribute to the country’s social development within the foundation’s work areas of youth development, social care, senior care, poverty alleviation and gender support.


At the signing of the multiyear Fund Management Agreement between the two organizations, WIB General Managing Director Derek Downes said the Bank has long been rooted in the community and has always tried its best to support initiatives that directly contribute to St. Maarten’s development.

“In having SMDF manage a portion of our corporate giving, WIB will be working with an organization that has a track record of facilitating social development and poverty alleviation where is it most needed and most impactful,” said Downes.
SMDF Director Keith Franca explained at the signing about the Foundation’s role in advising WIB on its corporate giving and on managing some of WIB’s social funds using SMDF’s auditing, monitoring and evaluation expertise and experience.

“As a development financing agency, we have a deeper awareness and understanding of St. Maarten’s growing social needs. It is our mission to eradicate all forms of poverty and social needs on St. Maarten, however, we can only do this through partnerships with corporate citizens such as the Windward Islands Bank,” Franca said.

The partnership, which went into force upon the signing of the Fund Management Agreement, will see WIB providing direct support to a number of SMDF’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs) clients active in social development.

In discussing the future impact of the partnership, both directors shared similar thoughts of how the partnerships would be a benefit to all.

“WIB’s financial support of SMDF’s development efforts will allow us to support more NGO clients and in turn improve the lives of the clients these NGOs serve,” said Franca.
Going further Downes stated the partnership would allow WIB to be more impactful in its giving and be confident that the bank was being a national partner in progress.

In its first five years of existence, SMDF has financed more than NAf. 11 million in social development programmes and projects, directly and indirectly improving the lives of thousands of residents. The addition of WIB as a corporate partner will allow SMDF to reach and support even more men, women and children within the community.

Franca said, “St. Maarten’s social needs are continuing to grow and as a community, we must all do what we can, much like how WIB has, to respond to social challenges and Contribute to a Society that Cares.”

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68528-wib-partners-with-development-fund