Islands’ emergency aid progs. to be evaluated

The Dutch government will evaluate the emergency aid pro­grammes in Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten during the COVID-19 pandemic, spe­cifically with regard to food parcels.

Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen announced this in a letter that she sent to the Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament on Monday.

In total, the Dutch govern­ment will carry out four eval­uations in the short term as part of a policy assessment of Article number 4 of the Kingdom Relations budget, the promoting of the social economic structure.

The overall policy assess­ment of Article 4 will take place in 2024. To prepare for this overall assessment, a number of (part)evaluations need to take place of the components that are part of the policy article, explained Van Huffelen.

Four evaluations will be carried out in the short term: the Talent Development Programme Bonaire TOP Bonaire, several assistance projects in Aruba and the foreigner’s barracks in Cu­racao, the emergency pro­grammes of Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten in the form of food parcels, and the CO­VID-19 pandemic support packages for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The evaluation assessment of TOP Bonaire has started, while the other three, the as­sistance projects in Aruba and the Curacao foreigner’s barracks, the Dutch Carib­bean countries’ emergency programmes and the sup­port packages for the Carib­bean Netherlands, are ready in concept.

An external bureau will carry out the evaluations. Aside from these four evaluations, the Ministry of Home Affairs and King­dom Relations BZK will give extra attention to the wrapping up of the special allowances, which the pub­lic entities Bonaire, St. Eu­statius and Saba received in the past years. Where neces­sary, new agreements will be made with the islands in the second half of 2023.

In another letter to the Sec­ond Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations, Van Huffelen announced a delay in the process establishing the Kingdom Consensus Law on Aruba Financial Supervi­sion RAFT.

The parliamentary com­mittee has asked twice for an update on the planning of this law proposal. The state secretary explained she could not give any indi­cations at this time because Aruba as yet had to respond to the law proposal.

“The Aruba government has responded that there is no consensus for this law proposal in its parlia­ment. I am currently still in discussion with the Aruba government, whereby fi­nancial supervision through a Kingdom law is tied to the refinancing of Aruba’s loans,” stated Van Huffelen, who promised to inform the Second Chamber about the planning as soon as the talks with Aruba were concluded.

The Daily Herald.

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