St Vincent and the Grenadines: The regime is obligated to providing humanitarian assistance to the administration and people of St. Vincent & the Grenadines following the result of the La Soufrière volcano on the nation.
This was highlighted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, Senator – Kamina Johnson Smith, during yesterday’s (April 23) sitting of the Senate at Gordon House.
Senator Johnson Smith stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade had been part of the team coordinating relief efforts for the cause.
She notified that the efforts are being coordinated locally and overseas Missions based on a Needs List administered by St. Vincent and the Grenadines administration.
“We remain in contact with them through the Foreign Ministry as well as through the Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management (ODPEM) & the Caribbean Disaster Emergency-Management Agency (CDEMA), & of course representatives of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) are also in contact,” Senator Johnson Smith asserted.
She pointed out that as a consequence of the Foreign Ministry’s engagement with equivalents in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, supported by respective Defence Forces, more than $20 million value of accumulations is currently bound for St. Vincent & the Grenadines aboard the HMBS Lawrence Major, a vessel commanded by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. The ship left Kingston on April 22.
Among the relief items onboard are drinking water, disaster kits, two beds of animal feed, antibiotics, IV fluid, needles, and syringes to maintain their agricultural sector.
She announced the disaster response machinery, managed by the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development, within ODPEM, continues to compile disaster relief support for St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
She stated the Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART)-of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) also stands ready to deploy if demanded, as discussed between PM Ralph Gonsalves and PM Andrew Holness.
Mrs Johnson Smith approved persons who would like to donate to do so through the account authenticated by ODPEM. The specifications are: Name – Donation Account for St Vincent Relief; Bank – NCB, Oxford Road, Branch Account: 212-387-304
She announced that according to the most up-to-date situational update from – Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and several entities, between 16,000 and 20,000 people are demanded to be displaced. Entire villages have been covered in ash, which has devastated crops, livestock, and tainted potable water sources.
The Minister remarked too that the disaster risk acknowledgements of CARICOM have been activated and are analysed in the Eastern Caribbean, following the sub-regional groupings of CDEMA.
Meantime, she declared Jamaica’s High Commissioner in Port of Spain (Trinidad), who is commissioned to St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Honorary Consul on the ground in St. Vincent & the Grenadines had been precisely monitoring the situation as well as that of the Jamaican association.