By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. April 27, 2021: The St. Vincent and the Grenadines La Soufriere volcano has not exploded since April 22, 2021 even though it is still erupting according to seismologists and the situation and need remains dire.
Donations and aid is starting to trickle in as the country’s government says losses from the eruption could mount into hundreds of millions. On Monday, both Norway and Canada added to a small group of nations that have pitched in.
Several CARICOM countries, Venezuela, the UK with a 200,000 pounds donation and USAID, with a USD 100,000 donation were early supporters.
On Monday, Norway and Canada pitched in. Norway contributed USD 150, 000 in humanitarian aid through the UN and the Red Cross system and contribute to aid the shelters, food, water and sanitary measures.
About 20.000 people have been affected by the volcanic eruption on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. National authorities coordinate the response with support from regional mechanisms. That includes the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) responsible for making detailed damage assessments, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which also contributes with emergency aid deliveries.
The UN coordinates their efforts from the regional office in Barbados. The World Food Program (WFP) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) supports relief efforts, like food, cash and medicine.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has established 89 shelters for about 4,000 affected people. There is lack of electricity and water and a need for, among other things, power supplies. In addition to emergency assistance, there is a need for expert assistance for clean-up after ash fall and emergency measures for new volcanic eruptions.
And the government of Canada has pledged CAD$440,000 in immediate relief funding, provided through Global Affairs Canada.
The emergency relief funding will focus on the basic needs of displaced persons, including those in shelters, with a contribution of $50,000 to support the work of Rapid Relief Team SVG and the health needs of displaced women and children through a contribution of $50,000 to the World Pediatric Project Caribbean. Canada has provided $90,000 to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross via the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support shelters for evacuees and to provide relief supplies and first aid services. The country has also mobilized a $250,000 contribution to the World Food Program (WFP) following the UN Flash Appeal for assistance to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This funding will allow WFP to scale-up its life-saving operations for the next three months to provide food security, logistics, and emergency telecommunications.
Since the eruption of the volcano at La Soufrière began on April 9, over 13,000 persons – more than 10 percent of the population – have been displaced from their homes into shelters and other forms of temporary housing. The volcano remains in an eruptive state, and the local situation is further compounded by the continued COVID-19 pandemic.