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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Weds. April 21, 2021: U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is set to meet virtually with the Caribbean Community or CARICOM ministers on Wednesday for the first time since taking office as part of the new Biden administration.

Blinken, the highest-ranking US official so far to engage with CARICOM, will meet today, April 21st with 15 foreign ministers of the Caribbean bloc, according to the State Department. They are set to discuss a number of issues affecting the region, including climate change and disaster resilience.

At a press briefing yesterday, a State Department spokesperson said the meeting will also ā€œreinforce the deep bondā€ the US shares ā€œwith our Caribbean neighbors.ā€

The US also said it is continuing to support the people of Saint Vincent as they deal with the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. So far, the Biden administration has pitched in USD 100,000 through USAID and is also working with the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross to assess humanitarian needs and provide immediate assistance to evacuees, including thousands of people in emergency evacuation shelters. Disaster experts from USAID are on the ground in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, working in close coordination with local and regional disaster response authorities and organizations, including the local governmentā€™s NEMO, which is leading the evacuation operations.

In addition, the USAIDā€“USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) is continuing to support the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre to monitor the volcano, which may continue erupting for an unknown period. These teams have been collaborating closely since December, when there was an initial rise in La SoufriĆØreā€™s activity.

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