Assistance under way for the vulnerable.

ORANJESTAD, St. Eustatius (8 June 2023) -  Plans are being finalised for a support programme for people in need in Statia, as well as Saba and Bonaire.

The ministry of health, welfare and sport – known by its Dutch acronym, VWS – is working with the Statia government – along with the authorities in the two sister Caribbean Netherland islands  to provide assistance and support for people with an illness or disability, and elderly people who live at home.

The decision was taken on the matter last year, and the accompanying legislation will take effect on 1 January 2024. Preparations got under way at the start of this year, an all organisations are expected be ready to implement the new programme. 

Government Commissioner Alida Francis, commissioners Eviton Heyliger of Saba and James Kroon of Bonaire and state secretary for VWS, Maarten van Ooijen met in a joint in-person and virtual meeting on 7 June and confirmed their commitment to the established agreements.

The aim of the agreements is to support sick or disabled people in the Caribbean Netherlands, including planning daytime activities.

“By offering effective social support, we can allow everyone to continue living autonomously and remain at home for as long as possible, irrespective of disability, illness or age. I believe that an equivalent level of care and support must be available throughout the Kingdom,” said state secretary van Ooijen. “I am extremely pleased that these agreements will allow us to take an important step towards establishing a solid foundation for social support.”