The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide $50m to reconstruct Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) in Sint Maarten, the Carribean, after damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

PJIAE serves as the main international airport for Sint Maarten, Saba St Eustatius, Anguilla, St Barthélemy, Nevis and the British Virgin Islands.

The airport’s terminal building and air traffic control tower were damaged due to extreme wind and rainwater during Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

EIB’s loan money will be used to ensure that the airport is restored to its original capacity and adheres to the regulations set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The reconstruction project is co-funded with the World Bank. The World Bank runs a €470m trust fund provided by the Dutch Government to aid Sint Maarten’s recovery.

EIB will cooperate with the World Bank to facilitate the airport project.

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EIB vice-president Emma Navarro said: “Private sector development is essential for rebuilding communities following natural disasters and the EIB’s loan for the airport in Sint Maarten confirms our commitment to supporting climate-resilient infrastructure, improved transport and communication links in the region, an area vulnerable to climate change.”

Princess Juliana International Airport CEO Brian Mingo said: “The start of the reconstruction is pivotal for Sint Maarten and the region, directly influencing the livelihood of all people and businesses.

“Together with Sint Maarten Government, the Dutch Government and the National Recovery Program Bureau, my team worked diligently on a comprehensive and favorable loan package. Our mission now is to rebuild, recover, reinvent and move forward together.”

The airport’s reconstruction is expected to generate 225 temporary jobs and 1,200 permanent jobs.