Statement by Dutch State Secretary Paul Blokhuis to St. Eustatius

Statement by Dutch State Secretary Paul Blokhuis to St. Eustatius

Dutch State Secretary Paul Blokhuis Dutch State Secretary Paul Blokhuis

ST. EUSTATIUS – The following statement was release on Thursday by the RCN Caribbean Netherlands Government Information Service regarding the visit of Dutch State Secretary Paul Blokhuis visit to St. Eustatius.

“Thank you everyone here on Statia for such a good visit.

“It was my first time here. We got wonderful impressions of the nature and the old fortress. And most of all the warm and friendly people. I hope to return many times.

“We had a long series of visits and meetings today with many medical care, elderly care and youth facilities here.

“We visited:

  • Centre for Youth and Families.
  • The Community Care Center
  • Sint Eustatius Health Care Foundation.
  • The Sint Eustatius Auxiliary Home
  • Daughters of the King
  • Mega D Youth Foundation
  • Statia Sports Facility Foundation

“I want to start with a few comments about the hospital.

“I think everyone here on Statia agrees that new facilities are necessary here.

“My energy and that of my people is focussed on supporting the people of Statia to achieve this.

“Money is not the issue. What we need is a clear governance structure, optimal cooperation between the hospital and the auxiliary home and a clear plan. If we achieve that, the financing will follow. You have my word on that.

“On Saba we visited the ongoing new construction and improvement of the hospital. It was good to see that. I hope to see similar developments here soon.

“In the coming years we also want to invest in prevention of and support with unintentional pregnancies.

“Many girls here on Statia and throughout the Caribian Netherlands are confronted with unintentional pregnancies. We want to prevent those situations as much as possible. And offer help and support if it does happen.

“We want to work with people and organisations - for example youth care - here on Statia to draft a program for the coming years. And I will provide the necessary funding.

“I would like to close my remarks with the Caribbean Prevention and Sports Agreement.

“Starting from next year 1 million euro will be available for prevention activities for all 24.000 inhabitants of the Caribbean Netherlands.

“Activities on reaching out to people and reduce smoking, obesity and problematic alcohol use. Activities focussed on helping people to eat healthy, be active and participate in sports.

“We are very active on these subjects in the European part of the Netherlands. I want to be equally active here but with a Caribbean approach. I want to do what works best here and what is needed here. Together with the people and organisations of Statia, Saba and Bonaire.

“On all islands we visited here - Statia, Saba and Sint Maarten - we saw and discussed the damage done by hurricane Irma.

“Last week on Curaçao we agreed with all the countries within the Kingdom that we will work together to deal with future hurricanes and other crisis situations as well as possible.

“The government of Sint Maarten will take the lead and my ministry will give ample support. By the end of 2018 we need a clear picture of all we need to do to be prepared in crisis situations. In Statia and all other ‘bijzondere gemeenten’ en countries within the Kingdom.

“Thank you again for having us here. We hope to return soon. Together we will continue to work hard for the health and well being of all Statians.” (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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