Marcel Gumbs Steps Down From Trust Fund Steering Committee

June 7, 2023 10:44 am

PHILIPSBURG -- Former Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs has retired as a member of the steering committee for the World Bank-administrated Trust Fund as of 1 June 2023.

Gumbs, who turned 70 in February, wrote in his resignation letter dated 2 April 2023 to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs that the critical phase of allocating funds to projects has been completed. “I believe this is the appropriate time for me to step down from the steering committee,” he stated. Gumbs was appointed as St. Maarten’s representative on the steering committee by ministerial decree on June 8, 2018, by then-Prime Minister Leona Marlin.

“It has been a distinct honor and privilege for me to have once again served my country in such a critical and significant role as the island began its reconstruction and recovery following the devastation of (hurricane) Irma,” Gumbs wrote in his resignation letter.

He is now looking forward to the establishment of the Disaster Reserve Fund, a project he championed within the Steering Committee and the Government, to ensure that in the likelihood of another hurricane, St. Maarten would be better prepared to repair and reconstruct.

“This fund will be financed by the reflows from the airport project loan and will outlive the Trust Fund in terms of providing monies in case of future disasters,” Gumbs explained in a provided comment. “It is my hope that my successor, my former colleagues on the Steering Committee, as well as this current and any future Governments, see the value in proactive preparation, rather than reactive measures after the fact.”

In response to his resignation letter, Prime Minister Jacobs thanked Gumbs for his contributions, stating: “We express our appreciation for the contributions you have made as a steering committee member for St. Maarten on different occasions in various World Bank/Trust Fund projects abroad. Your hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence have been a valuable asset to our country.”