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Soualiga News II (4169)

CPS: October 16 marks World Food Day – It’s Your Day

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – World Food Day (WFD) will be marked around the globe on Saturday, October 16 under the theme, “Our actions are our future- Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life.”

According to the United Nations (UN) Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), “The food we choose and the way we consume it affect our health and that of our planet. It has an impact on the way agri-food systems work.”

The FAO added that collective action across 150 countries is what makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar.

#WorldFoodDay 2021 will be marked a second time while countries around the world deal with the widespread effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic. It's a time to look into the future we need to build together.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, calls on the populace to work on planting their fruits and vegetables in their backyard to support growing and nourishing a healthier diet.

Reduce preventable diseases and deaths from high consumption of sodium and salt, sugars, and fats, particularly trans fats. Consuming a healthy diet from pre-birth to the last days of life is vital to prevent all forms of malnutrition as well as diabetes, cancers and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Eat more whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits.

CPS adds that as a community, promote the need to plant vegetable/fruit gardens and support local food producers that would ensure a sustainable future together for a better environment and a better life.


BES Islands Receive US$98 Million in COVID-19 Support. Program ended Oct.13

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - The ‘Tijdelijke subsidieregeling loonkosten en inkomensverlies CN’ (CN Temporary wage costs and loss of income subsidy scheme) and the ‘Regeling subsidie financiering vaste lasten getroffen ondernemingen Covid-19 BES’ (Financing fixed costs of affected enterprises Covid-19 BES subsidy scheme) will end this month.

The demissionary cabinet sees no reason to deviate from the decision for the European Netherlands, where the corona support schemes have meanwhile ended. In total, through these two schemes, around 98 million dollars were paid out on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. The execution lies with the SZW-unit of RCN.

SZW Emergency Regulation

The so-called ‘SZW Emergency Regulation’ supported employers so they could keep the employees in service, who they could not keep at work during the crisis. This benefit came from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. According to the latest overviews 699 employers used the regulation for a total of 3535 employees.

In addition, the incomes of 1079 independent entrepreneurs were supplemented, and 585 former employees (who could not keep their jobs) received a benefit through the regulation. The exact final amount is not yet known, because some cases are still pending, but it concerns a total of about 54 million dollars.

The SZW Emergency Regulation ended on 13 October 2021, exactly 19 months after it started. It is no longer possible to submit an application.

EZK Compensation

The ‘EZK Compensation’ is a subsidy from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate to help entrepreneurs pay their fixed costs during the crisis. The compensation consists of six successive schemes.

Based on the latest overviews, 901 entrepreneurs made use of the first scheme, 563 of the second, 457 of the third, 419 of the fourth and 453 of the fifth. To date, 290 payments have been made for the sixth scheme. Applications can still be submitted for the sixth scheme until 31 October. The total final amount seems to be around 44 million dollars.

A follow-up check will take place in the first quarter of 2022. Companies that are in the sample must substantiate the information they have given on their application form with further documentation. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


CPS Invites Public to Attend Breast Cancer Interactive Forum on Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), is inviting the public to attend the Breast Cancer Interactive Forum where you will have the opportunity to discuss breast cancer.

Dr. Niara Chobanyan, will be providing information and the public will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

For those who would like to attend the forum in person, space is limited to 50 persons. The forum will take place on two dates, this coming Saturday, October 16 and again on Saturday, October 30.

The forum will be held at the St. Martin of Tours Parish Hall, Back Street across from the Cultural Center from 7.00 PM to 9.00 PM.

The forum is a collaborative effort of the Positive Foundation, the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Elektralyets Foundation, and CPS.

The forum is being held under the banner #InItTogether October Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in the Americas, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. More than 462,000 women are newly diagnosed and approximately 100,000 women die from breast cancer each year. This is expected to increase by 34% in the Americas by 2030, if current trends continue.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, breast cancer ranks as the first cancer type among women both regarding new cases and deaths.

Several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have some of the highest rates for risk of dying from breast cancer, highlighting the inequities in health in the Region.

CPS says early detection is important in the management process of your breast for this reason all women and men are reminded to do self-breast examination – check your breast, get familiar with your breast so you can timely recognize when there is something wrong.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, a greater proportion of breast cancer deaths occur in women under 65 years of age (56%) as compared to North America (37%).

Earlier diagnosis coupled with advances in treatment has led to better outcomes and longer survival for women with breast cancer.

Talk to your physician about your risks for breast cancer and empower yourself with information. When attending either forum on October 16 or 31, attendees are required to wear their mask according to the public health and safety measures of the Government.


Makana Ferries starts inter-island operations in November for SSS Islands

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Blues and Blues Ltd. of Anguilla is scheduled to start with the inter-island trips between Statia, Saba and Sint Maarten on November 1, 2021. Preparations by an inter-island team are in full progress to be able to meet this date. Information on the fares and the exact schedule information will soon follow. 

Blues and Blues Ltd of Anguilla won the tender for the inter-island maritime connectivity with the M/V Makana. Makana is a 72-inch Sabre catamaran fast ferry, capable of carrying 150 passengers across two decks. There is a lower deck, an upper (open) sun deck and an upper business class area. The lower deck and the upper area are both fully air conditioned and outfitted with two toilets and a bar.

The Makana will provide ample luggage and cargo functionality. The catamaran will cruise comfortably at an operational speed of 23 knots with a maximum speed of 31knots. The trips will be approximately 45 minutes from Saba to Statia, 75 minutes from Saba to St. Maarten and 85 minutes from Statia to St. Maarten. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in St. Kitts, the route to this island cannot be scheduled yet until further notice.


Makana is the Hawaiian word for “Gift”. Blues & Blues Ltd. welcomed the vessel into its fleet recently. Passengers can expect a friendly and reliable service complete with onboard WiFi and online customer services. The Makana will be stationed in Statia or Saba. Residents are encouraged to apply for vacant positions as crew members.

Samuel Connor, owner of Blues and Blues Ltd., said: “We are a family business. We strongly believe that we can contribute to the social and economic development of the islands via an interisland maritime connectivity including St. Barth, Anguilla and Nevis”. (Statia GIS)


Amendment to Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention BES Islands Act

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - On the 1st of July 2021, an amendment to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) (BES Islands) Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financieren van terrorisme BES, Wwft BES) came into force that has tightened up the rules. On the 13th of October, the importance of these rules and the most important changes were explained during a one-day seminar. The seminar, which was opened by Lieutenant Governor Rijna, was attended by a large group of entrepreneurs and business representatives.

The Wwft BES is an important instrument in preventing money laundering and terrorist financing on the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba (the Caribbean Netherlands). Through the Wwft BES, the government wants to prevent or counteract money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, corruption and other forms of financial and economic crime.

This week, representatives of the Dutch central bank (De Nederlandsche Bank), the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets, the Wwft Supervision Office of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU-Netherlands) and the Dean of the Bar Association of The Hague are on Bonaire to explain the stricter rules.

The rules in the Wwft BES apply to a range of businesses, including traders in building materials, property developers, car dealers and financial service providers, such as banks and life insurers. The rules help prevent that criminal funds enter the financial system or terrorism is financed with the aid or by means of these parties.

In his opening speech, the Lieutenant Governor emphasized the importance of combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Money laundering and terrorist financing pose a serious threat to a country’s economy and can impact economic growth. The absence of an effective anti-money laundering policy can have a detrimental effect on both domestic institutions and international trade.

Therefore, to safeguard the economic health and prosperity of the Caribbean Netherlands, it is important to prevent and combat money laundering. More information about the rules and requirements for businesses on Bonaire can be found on the websites of the relevant supervisory authorities and the FIU. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


DUO opens temporary service centres in the Caribbean Area

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - In autumn, the Education Executive Agency [Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs] (DUO) is going to open temporary service centres on Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire in order to provide information services to prospective and former students. DUO is also going to organise information sessions and offer tailor-made support. Residents of the Leeward Islands will have the opportunity to consult a DUO staff member via chat and video conferencing.

Service centres

DUO is going to open a temporary service centre on Aruba and Curaçao from the 1st to the 26th of November. Prospective and former students will be able to access the service centre without having to make an appointment for answers to all their questions about study financing and the repayment of their student debt. The temporary service centre on Bonaire is going to be open from the 29th of November up to and including the 10th of December. Residents of the Leeward Islands will have the opportunity to consult a DUO staff member via chat and video conferencing.


During their visit to the Caribbean area, DUO staff members will also hold information sessions for prospective and former students who are about to start repaying their student debt. Anyone who cannot attend one of these meetings can register for a webinar which will have the same topics.

Tailor-made support

DUO is keen to help prevent former students getting into financial difficulties. For that reason, former students with payment arrears with DUO will be given a final opportunity to avoid a collection agency being called in. Some of them have received a payment arrangement proposal. Others will receive an invitation from DUO to meet with a staff member in order to find a tailor-made solution.

More information

More information about the locations and opening hours of the temporary service centres and the times of the information meetings can be found at (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

Among other things DUO implements laws and regulations, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), relating to the funding of education institutions, the provision of study financing and school expenditure allowances, the collection of student debts and the management and the exchange of data linked to student registration numbers.


Draft environmental legislation in place for businesses

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management and the Public Entities St. Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire have prepared draft environmental legislation for businesses. The legislation, that will go into effect in the second quarter of 2022, concerns a broad spectrum of environmental factors. Residents, businesses and organizations are invited to give their (online) opinion on the draft legislation through the following link: Reageren IAB BES .

The official name of the draft legislation is “Establishment and Activities Decree BES”. The draft decree includes environmental regulations for businesses that have an impact on the environment due to their specific activities. 

An example is a car garage where there is a possibility of leaking oil or a construction company where there is a risk of releasing hazardous materials into the environment. Depending on the impact of the activity, the business must adhere to general binding rules. A business can also apply for an environmental permit before starting its activities which can have an impact on the environment. 

When the decree is adopted it will form the legal basis for more specific rules in the form of a ministerial decree and an island ordinance. 

Annex 1 of the decree refers to the activities that will be regulated. On the legal basis of this decree, the general binding rules will be further transposed in a ministerial decree and an Island Ordinance.  

Everyone is invited to submit feedback and/or ask questions through the webpage Reageren IAB BES. Via the link IAB BES the English web text (E1) and draft decree (E2) under ‘Overige documenten’ can be found. The internet consultation on the draft started on September 15th, 2021.  (Statia GIS)


Capacity building continues at NPOwer with successful Googles Suite workshop

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - 16 people representing 11 Non-profit Organisations (NPOs) participated in NPOwer’s Google Suite/Workplace on Saturday, part of a series of workshops geared toward empowering and strengthening the capacity of St. Maarten’s NPO community.

NPOwer and Director of the National Institute for Professional Advancement, Sergio Dimitri Blomont offered the six-hour workshop for St. Maarten based NPOs to learn how to effectively use Google Suite to improve the way organizations use and manage data.

The demand for capacity building within the nonprofit world pushed NPOwer to expand their numbers of participants from 12 to 16. “We were happy to see that everyone that registered to participate turned up and positively evaluated the workshop, '' said Jose Sommers of NPOwer. These 16 representatives walked away with valuable knowledge that will significantly benefit their respective organizations.

Sommers said, “It’s important that people have Information Technology and software skills that facilitate the smooth operation of their NPO. This skill will make operating efficient and effective; For instance, in google drive there can be a central database of all essential documents, allowing everyone access quickly and easily. This feature reduces the time group members spend trying to get copies of documents such as the chamber of commerce extract, minutes of meetings and notary papers for example.”    

NPOwer is in the second round of workshops for 2021, which will engage NPOs with topics ranging from governance, data collection to accounting and more will run until December. NPOwer thanks participants and workshop presenter Sergio Blomont for giving up six hours of their Saturday to strengthen their work for the people of St. Maarten through their various causes.


New Developments Statia Waste Management

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - Many new developments have transpired at the St. Eustatius Waste Facility. Economy, Nature, and Infrastructure (ENI) highlights some of the latest improvements.  

Waste motor oil. 

The Public Entity St. Eustatius invested in a Waste oil Catchment at the waste facility late 2020 because of environmental benefits and for recycling. This catchment is intended to hold the waste oil in an environment safe manner. All waste oil is collected from different entities until the max storage volume is achieved. 12,000 gallons of waste oil was shipped abroad for further processing. This required two 20ft sea containers with a liner. The waste oil will be refined into new oil products once processed. Persons may contact the waste facility for more information about depositing waste motor oil.   

Bale of aluminum cans 

72 bales of compacted aluminum cans were exported to the central storage where they will join greater volumes at an aluminum factory. Soda cans take up very little space once compressed. The shipments will go to a European market. The product will further be made into new products. Sorted compacted exported.   

Waste Bin holding cells 

In past six months bin holding cells were made and placed at specific areas at Lower Town. The purpose of the bin holding cells is to prevent roaming animals and the occasional high winds from tipping over the bins. Also, to make waste collection available for pedestrians and beach visitors. The 3 bins holders are made from 50% recycled crushed glass. They are dressed with artistic work and stands out at Lower Town, reminding everyone to keep Statia clean. (Statia GIS)

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Prosecutor’s Office, SJIS, KPSM create criminal complaint info leaflet

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Prosecutor’s Office, in collaboration with Stichting Justitiële Inrichtingen St. Maarten (SJIS) and KPSM, has created an information leaflet outlining what occurs when someone files a complaint with police and the role of the prosecutor in the process. 

The Prosecutor’s Office and SJIS have added the “What to Expect After Filing A Compliant With Police” leaflet to the information package already provided to victims in criminal cases. The Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM also has copies of the leaflet to give to victims of crimes or their family members as an additional resource when they file a complaint or if they are contemplating filing a complaint with police.

The leaflet is one component of a larger Domestic Violence and Mediation Restorative Justice Project. Another part of the project was an intensive mediation skills training, held in July, for professionals in the justice field.  The leaflet provides information for victims about what the procedure is after they have filed a complaint, It also contains contact information for Safe Haven, Police and other help sources.

The skill training and the several related activities such as a behavioral intervention program for offenders and their partners, and a pilot mediation in criminal cases will be implemented by SJIB and OM SXM in the coming months. These are steps to introducing restorative justice as an alternative approach to conflicts that are usually governed by criminal law, specifically domestic violence cases.

The Domestic Violence and Mediation Restorative Justice Project financed through the Resources for Community Resilience R4CR funding programme. R4CR was implemented by VNG International (the International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities VNG) and funded by the St. Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund to improve the capacity of St. Maarten’s civil society organisations and to support reconstruction and resilience at the community level.

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