UK to give assistance to 13,000 people of St Vincent & Grenadines

The UK will give further assistance to provide food, clean water & other essential-items

UK to give assistance to 13,000 people of St Vincent & Grenadines
UK to give assistance to 13,000 people of St Vincent & Grenadines

St Vincent and Grenadines: The UK will give further assistance to provide food, clean water & other essential-items, for an estimated around 13,000 people adversely affected by the La Soufrière volcano in St Vincent & the Grenadines.

The new £550,000 (USD 695,000) addition takes the total UK funding to over £800,000 ($1m) since the volcano’s eruption started on April 9th and will be distributed via the World Food Programme (WFP).

These funds will give urgent cash and voucher aid to help families displaced by the volcano meet their critical nutrition, hygiene and other fundamental needs for three months.

This declaration reflects the UK’s earlier promise of £200,000 ($278,000) to the Caribbean- Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) which allowed the immediate mobilisation of regional-support teams and urgent amounts for the initial relief effort.

Before the explosive outburst, the UK also contributed £51,000 ($70,000) for aerial helicopter surveillance and equipment investments to help analyse changes in the volcano and support early warning for a timely evacuation.

Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon-, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, said:

“We stand associated with the people of St Vincent & Grenadines at this difficult time. We have all been remarkably moved by the scenes of devastation and human suffering that this volcano has wrought. I am gratified that the UK stepped up to provide vital assistance to the CDEMA regional response within 24 hours of the first eruption. This further support will accommodate urgent assistance to those most influenced by the impact of the volcano, including those currently relocated and living in shelters.”

In supplementary to our bilateral support, the UK is also promoting the worldwide response in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in various meaningful ways. For instance:

  • The UK is a significant contributor and longstanding donor to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which has so far allotted $1m (approximately £719,000) to St Vincent and the Grenadines in response to the eruptions. This will be practised for water, sanitation and hygiene, alongside supporting livelihoods.
  • The UK is a contributor to the International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency- Fund (DREF), which has allocated funding of some £209,000 ($290,000) to the Red Cross acknowledgement. This will go towards water and sanitation, resources support and shelter.
  • The UK is the largest financial donor to the World Bank’s International Development Association -(IDA) facility. The World Bank recently disbursed -$20m (£14m) of IDA funds from its Catastrophe Deferred -Drawdown Option-(Cat-DDO) to help the administration’s emergency liquidity needs.
  • The UK -was one of the -founding members of the Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), which provided a $2.2m (£1.5m) grant for ongoing relief and recovery efforts.

Longer-term support for St Vincent and the Grenadines 

Alongside this emergency support, the UK has an ongoing programme of development assistance to St Vincent and Grenadines’ totalling over £40m (approximately US$55.5m). This will make a critical contribution to the country’s longer-term recovery from the eruption and includes: 

  • Funding for critical infrastructure projects such as the new cargo port facilities and access roads near the existing Kingstown Harbour.
  • Upgrading of health care facilities across the island – retrofitted to be safer, greener and better able to withstand the impacts of future disasters.
  • Supporting the island’s pre and post-disaster management systems.
  • Supporting the sustainable energy sector in St Vincent and the Grenadines through investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Providing training opportunities for the nation’s youth through our Skills for Youth Employment programme.

The UK also supports St Vincent and the Grenadines and the wider Caribbean region in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Notes to Editors: 

​As well as specific funding for St Vincent & the Grenadines, the UK supports wider-regional efforts:

  • We have committed £548m as one of the largest donors to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) mechanism to facilitate fair and equitable global access to vaccines. St Vincent and the Grenadines recently got its first delivery of 24,000 doses under the COVAX AMC. 
  • The UK recently promised £21m to the Caribbean Development Bank’s Special Development Fund (SDF), from which St Vincent & the Grenadines will directly advantage. The SDF will demonstrate a critical role in helping the region’s long-term social & economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.