Team LeaderCarolyn J. Shelton
Approval Date(as of board presentation) August 26, 2020
Total Project CostUS$ 3.61 million
Commitment AmountUS$ 0.00 million
Project Information Document-Integrated Safeguards Data Sheet - Additional Financing for the Sint Maarten Hospital Resiliency Preparedness Project - P174023
A. Basic Project Data Country Project ID Project Name Parent Project ID (if any) St Maarten P174023 Additional Financing for the Sint Maarten Hospital Resiliency & Preparedness Project P167532 Parent Project Name Region Estimated Appraisal Date Estimated Board Date Sint Maarten Hospital Resiliency & Preparedness Project LATIN AMERICA AND #CARIBBEAN 04-Aug-2020 31-Aug-2020 Practice Area (Lead) Financing Instrument Borrower(s) Implementing #Agency #Health, Nutrition & Population #Investment Project Financing Ministry of Public Health, Social #Development and Labour (#VSA) Sint Maarten #Medical Center (#SMMC) Proposed #Development Objective(s) Parent Improve the preparedness and capacity of #hospital services in Sint Maarten Components Building and launching of the new hospital Transition and Contingency Plan for Sint Maarten Medical Center Project Management #SintMaarten
Sint Maarten is a high-income constituent country1 of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean with an economy that relies heavily on tourism and has been adversely affected by Hurricane Irma. The country occupies the southern half of an island shared with the French overseas collectivity of Saint Martin and is the most densely populated in the Caribbean with a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of US$25,381 in 2018. 2 With a population of roughly 40,000, the country is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and adverse climatic events due to its location within the hurricane belt. Natural hazards have catastrophic impacts on the country’s economy. Tourism accounted for 45 percent of GDP and 73 percent of foreign exchange earnings in 2016 were from tourism related activities. In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused damages and losses estimated at US$2.7 billion affecting 90 percent of infrastructure and large parts of the natural environment. Sint Maarten’s GDP fell by an estimated cumulative 16.9 percent from 2017 to 2018. In 2019, the country’s nominal GDP was estimated at about US$1.09 billion. It is estimated that GDP will contract sharply again in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.
On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane, caused significant destruction on Sint Maarten. Damages were compounded by smaller-scale Hurricane Maria, two weeks later. Although loss of life was limited, Sint Maarten incurred damages and losses estimated at 129 percent of GDP respectively, or US$2.7. billion. Ninety percent of all infrastructure was affected and much of this i#nfrastructure still requires #repair. Though little is known about the distribution of hurricane impacts and their effect on vulnerable groups in Sint Maarten, #international experience shows that disasters disproportionally affect the poor and vulnerable, who include Sint Maarten’s female-headed households (38.7 percent of households) and children.
In April 2018, to support rapid and sustainable recovery from Hurricane Irma, the #Government of The #Netherlands established a Sint Maarten Recovery, #Reconstruction and #Resilience Trust Fund for up to EUR470 million to be managed by the World Bank. Since July 2018, the Trust Fund, governed by a Steering Committee composed of Sint Maarten, the Netherlands and the World Bank, has begun to implement selected activities in support of recovery, reconstruction, and resilience under the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience #Plan in Sint Maarten. These activities are chiefly implemented by the country’s #National Reconstruction #Planning Bureau.
Sint Maarten’s people and economy have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with significant impacts on its economic prospects and pace of recovery. The Government has reported 156 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths (as of August 4, 2020). From mid-May to July 21st , no new cases were reported and the number of confirmed positive cases remained steady at 78 with no change, indicating the outbreak was under control. Once the first new case was reported around July 21, cases began to rapidly increase, and Sint Maarten appears to be experiencing a second wave of rapidly increasing new infections over the past 2 weeks, doubling the total number of cases from the first wave. The first change in confirmed positive cases was reportedly due to repatriated citizens and subsequent community transmission. So far, this second outbreak has caused fewer deaths. In response, the #Ministry of #Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) has been carrying out response measures such as community outreach testing, public education campaigns and contact tracing. Since mid-March, schools have closed, and international flights and cruises have been cancelled. Further restrictions were introduced in early April 2020 which resulted in a complete lockdown, including the interruption of all non-essential business activities, required government authorization for individuals to venture more than 50 meters from their residence, and limited operating hours of essential businesses. As of June 15, 2020, a phased reopening plan has been in effect. As of August 1, borders have opened to international travel. Informal sector workers and other vulnerable segments of the population have faced job losses and reduced income, and higher prices for essential commodities.
Environmental and Social Safeguards Specialists on the Team Gibwa A. Kajubi, Social Specialist Martin Humberto Ochoa Salgado, Environmental Specialist