Nearly seven months after hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Sint Maarten, the first financial aid from the Netherlands is heading towards the island. 110 million euros for reconstruction will be released, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations announced on Wednesday. The money comes from an aid fund of 550 million euros, which will be managed by the World Bank, NOS reports.
State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations is demanding that outgoing Sint Maarten's departing Prime Minister William Marlin resign. As long as Marlin is the Prime Minister of the island, the Dutch government can not make money available to start repairing the devastation Hurricane Irma left on the island in September, he said, according to NU.nl.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
The Dutch Ministers involved in providing aid to the islands affected by Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, are meeting in the National Crisis Center in The Hague at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. The main purpose of this meeting is to map what aid exactly the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius need, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom relations said to broadcaster NOS.
The government is making 58.5 million euros available to help victims of conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, a spokesperson for Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Development Cooperation confirmed to the Volkskrant on Friday. According to the Minister, crisis in the Middle East region has reached unprecedented levels.
A few dozen people held a vigil in Amsterdam's Frankendael Park to memorialize the victims of two earthquakes in Nepal. Among the mourners were 25 people from Nepal as well, NOS reported.
According to the foreman of employers association VNO-NCW, Hans de Boer, a quarter of the Dutch budget for development cooperation, 1 billion euros, should be invested in emergency aid "with the expressed aim to be first in any disaster."
On Sunday, following the results of the banking examination of the European Central Bank (ECB), ING announced that they will pay off their state aid this year still.
After negotiations at the Ministry of Finance with financial specialist from the ruling parties and friendly opposition parties, the Cabinet seems to be in agreement about the budget for next year. Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem says the consensus is a "careful budget", De Telegraaf reports.
The Cabinet is making €6.5 million available for extra emergency aid to the population of North Iraq. Minister Lilianne Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation announces today that this money will go to helping these people who are fleeing their homes because of the threat of IS, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.