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United Nations launches $30 million Global Appeal Fund in aid of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

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Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2021. 1:12 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Didier Trebucq, said the UN today launched a Global Appeal Fund to raise US$30 million to help St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Trebucq, who was on tour of the Windward side of St. Vincent with Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, said the entire UN system was being mobilized to assist St. Vincent and the Grenadines in whatever ways they can according to NBC Radio in St Vincent.

Trebucq said the UN had already made available US 2 million to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to help with the humanitarian crisis caused by the volcanic eruptions since April 9. Trebucq said the crisis would not be over soon.

According to NBC SVG, Gonsalves and UN representatives, on the tour of the Windward side to assess the damage, said the devastation caused by La Soufriere Volcano eruption was apocalyptic.

The area in the Windward side of St. Vincent, which has been most affected by the volcano eruption, is referred to as the Red Zone.

Gonsalves said yesterday at the United Nations that over 20,000 people have been evacuated.

The UWI Seismic Research Centre said that eruptions are expected to continue.

“We are about to initiate the UN funding appeal and response plan to support the humanitarian response, but also the early recovery for the next six months”, Trebucq said on April 14 according to UN News.

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

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, in the southern Caribbean, is comprised of more than 30 islands and cayes. Nine of these are inhabited.  

Standing at 4,000 feet, La Soufrière in Saint Vincent, began erupting on April 9 after being dormant since 1979.

“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.

Trebucq said water and shelter management were the top two priorities.

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