United Nations launches $29 million appeal for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other affected countries as volcano eruption continues

20 April 2021

Kingstown (St Vincent and the Grenadines)/New York, 20 April 2021 – The United Nations has launched a $29.2 million global funding appeal to help those affected by the eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and other impacted countries.

The eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano which began on 9 April is expected to displace close to 20,000 persons with over 12,700 evacuees now registered in public shelters and in private homes. Entire villages have been covered in ashes, buildings damaged , schools and businesses closed , crops and livestock destroyed, and residents left with limited access to clean drinking water. Further eruptions are expected in the coming weeks.

Funding raised through the UN Global Funding Appeal for the La Soufrière Volcano Response Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Affected Countries ,will provide immediate lifesaving humanitarian aid including cash assistance and clean water, and support a sustainable recovery, including through repairs to homes and support for livelihoods. The UN and partners will also assess the economic, social, and environmental impact on countries affected by the volcano, supporting with ash removal and improving environmental health conditions. Another priority is to continue preventing the spread of COVID-19 as part of the shelter management work and all humanitarian and recovery efforts.

A call to action has been made for international solidarity for the effort which provide a lifeline to the most vulnerable  people in Saint Vincent, as well as assist neighbouring countries including Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Saint Lucia some of whom have been adversely impacted by severe ashfall and all of whom have offered to  shelter evacuees.

Speaking following a visit earlier this week to areas in the Red Zone accompanied by  members of the UN Sub-regional team and led by Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,  Dr. Ralph Gonsalves,  UN Resident Coordinator Didier Trebucq  said: “The level of destruction that has befallen this beautiful country and the widespread disruption caused by this event, will forever be etched in my mind. The devastating impact of this event on thousands of people is undeniable. The UN will be a steadfast partner, working with the Government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to ensure strong and resilient recovery. This Global Fund appeal will mobilize international solidarity to enhance our efforts.

Prime Minister Gonsalves expressed appreciation at the level of support being extended in the wake of the volcanic eruption. The United Nations and its agencies have come splendidly to the assistance of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at this the midnight hour of our need.  Their interface with the national authorities and regional organisations such as CDEMA has been exemplary,” he said.

The appeal will be launched by the UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq, on Tuesday 20 April, 0930 ET, alongside Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Regis Chapman, Head of Caribbean Sub-regional Office for WFP and Aloys Kamuragiye, Representative  of UNICEF Barbados and Eastern Caribbean. It will be  supported by other UN agencies participating by distance – UN Women, UNFPA, PAHO, IOM, UNESCO, UNDP, FAO, UNOPS , UNEP,OCHR.  Director General of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States , Dr. Didacus Jules, as well as  Executive Director of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency(CDEMA) , Elizabeth Riley, will also join the launch in support of the appeal.

This is followed by a virtual press encounter at 1100 ET, with the Resident Coordinator and Prime Minister Gonsalves, moderated by the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric (live on webtv.un.org)  

In response to the ongoing eruption, the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock announced an allocation of $1 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund to help provide urgent humanitarian assistance to affected people, especially those evacuated.

This crisis comes as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is recovering from its largest COVID-19 surge amid the pandemic, the region’s worst Dengue outbreak in recent history, and ahead of the hurricane season.  

Note to editors:

You are invited to cover the launch of the UN Fund Appeal on Tuesday 20 April 2021 at 9:30 a.m. AST. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83294452598?pwd=MFo5djNMa2RoR2NaNWtkL0xrKzhoUT09

Also connect to the virtual press encounter at 1100 ET, with the Resident Coordinator and Prime Minister Gonsalves, moderated by the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric live on www.webtv.un.org

Please see also the most recent Situation Report on the UN’s response in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Link here

Media Contacts:

Carol  A. Gaskin

Resident Coordinator Office,

Development Coordination Officer , Programme Communications and Advocacy

 Email: carol-ann.gaskin@un.org  Tel:+1(246)467-6110; Mobile +1(246)832-6110

 

Randy Warner

Resident Coordinator Office/United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Information Management Assistant

Email: randy.warner@un.org  Tel: +1 (246) 467-6113; Mobile +1 (246) 836-6113

Media contacts

Laurent Duvillier
Regional Chief of Communication
UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean
Tel: + 507 3017393
Tel: + 507 6169 9886
Alfonso Fernández Reca
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 69412277,

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