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UN says humanitarian crisis in St. Vincent is for the long haul

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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2021. 1:35 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The humanitarian crisis caused by the volcanic eruptions in Saint Vincent is going to last months, said UN official Didier Trebucq on Thursday.

The BBC reported that Trebucq, the UN coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, said the United Nations is setting up an international funding appeal for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and nearby islands like Barbados that could also be badly affected.

“This is a crisis that is going to last certainly more than six months in the sub-region, in Saint Vincent, and other islands,” Trebucq said.

“We are expecting that continuous explosions and ashfall will continue over the coming weeks in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, but also in neighboring islands such as Barbados, which has also been severely affected… as well as Saint Lucia and Grenada,” Trebucq said in a press conference.

Trebucq added that the crisis would require a humanitarian and rehabilitation response.

According to the United Nations around 4,000 are living in shelters and basic services like drinking water are scarce.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said that only a few people are willing to leave the islands. Gonsalves said despite the dangers the eruptions pose, the great majority of those affected want to stay put.

“They said they want to stay at home. I have been around several of the camps and that’s the message,” Gonsalves said.

La Soufrière had been inactive for decades but started showing signs last year before it erupted last week.

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