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, are expected to displace close to 20,000 people 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 Funding Appeal for the La Soufrière Volcano Response St. 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 to provide a lifeline to the most vulnerable people in St. Vincent, as well as in neighbouring countries. These include, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada and Saint Lucia, where women, men and children have been adversely impacted by severe ashfall, with shelter offered for evacuees.
“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,” said UN Resident Coordinator Didier Trebucq. “The UN will be a steadfast partner, working with the Government and people of St 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 extended in the wake of the volcanic eruption, adding that “the United Nations and its agencies have come splendidly to the assistance of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the midnight hour of our need. Their interface with the national authorities and regional organizations 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 EST, 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, alongside other UN entities*.. The Director General of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States, Dr. Didacus Jules. Executive Director of Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Elizabeth Riley, will also join the launch in support of the appeal.
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 St. 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
In the Caribbean: You are invited to the launch of the UN Fund Appeal on Tuesday 20 April 2021 at 0930 EST. View the appeal. Log in to YouTube to submit your questions.
At UN HQ in New York: Connect to the virtual press encounter at 1100 EST, with the Resident Coordinator and Prime Minister Gonsalves, moderated by the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric live on webtv.un.org/
About the UN support to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and other countries affected by the volcano: Other UN entities will join the online appeal launch from Barbados, including UN Women, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHR).
Carol A. Gaskin
Resident Coordinator Office,
Development Coordination Officer
Programme Communications and Advocacy
Tel:+1(246)467-6110; Mobile +1(246)832-6110
Resident Coordinator Office/UNOCHA
Information Management Assistant
Tel: +1 (246) 467-6113; Mobile +1 (246) 836-6113