Photo: Courtesy of @mantisphoto
The United Nations (UN) launched a $29.2 million global funding appeal on Monday, April 19, 2021, to aid citizens of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the surrounding region affected by the major eruptions spewing from La Soufrière volcano (news.un.org).
This call for international solidarity has been issued to give valuable assistance to the most vulnerable people in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as well as in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, and Saint Lucia, which have been hit with severe ashfall (news.un.org).
According to the UN, "Funding will provide immediate lifesaving humanitarian assistance, including clean water, and support a sustainable recovery for everyone impacted. The UN and partners will also assess the economic, social, and environmental toll on all the countries touched by the fallout, including ash removal and improving environmental health provisions" (news.un.org).
In addition, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock announced $1 million from the UN's Central Emergency Respond Fund (CERF) to urgently assist affected people, especially evacuees (news.un.org).
As of April 20, 2021, 12,700 evacuees are registered in public shelters and private homes; however, close to 20,000 people are expected to be displaced (news.un.org).
With further eruptions expected in the coming weeks, the destruction that has already occurred has been devastating. "Entire villages have been covered in ash, buildings damaged, schools and businesses closed, crops and livestock destroyed, and residents left with limited access to clean drinking water" (news.un.org).
As Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves describes the situation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is "in its midnight hour of need" and faces "a monumental challenge of humanitarian relief" (thecut.com).
Necessities such as drinking water, food, clothing, PPE, and hygienic supplies are desperately needed; water and electricity services are down in many areas (thecut.com).
You can help by giving to the following organizations: