The United Kingdom has announced it will donate food, water, and other essentials along with funds to support around 13,000 residents, for at least three months, affected by the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
In a release sent to the media on Tuesday, the British High Commission said £550,000 (US$695,000) will be delivered via the World Food Programme. This donation will bring the total amount of funding sent to the island, since the volcano erupted on April 9, to over £800,000 (US$1 million)
It said, “These funds will deliver urgent cash and voucher assistance to help families displaced by the volcano meet their immediate nutrition, hygiene, and other essential needs for three months.
“This follows the UK’s earlier commitment of £200,000 (US$278,000) to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) which enabled the immediate mobilisation of regional support teams and urgent supplies for the initial relief effort.”
Before the eruption, the UK also provided £51,000 (US$70,000) for aerial helicopter surveillance and equipment installations to help analyse changes in the volcano and boost early warning for a timely evacuation.
The UK said it has also supported international response units in bringing further relief to the people of SVG through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, Caribbean Catastrophic Risk Insurance Facility, and the World Bank’s International Development Association.
In the long term, the UK has already developed recovery programmes and projects totalling £40 million (approximately US$55.5 million.)
Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, said: “We stand united with the people of SVG at this difficult time. We have all been tremendously moved by the scenes of devastation and human misery that this volcano has wrought. I am pleased that the UK stepped up to provide vital support to the CDEMA regional response within 24 hours of the first eruption. This further support will provide urgent assistance to those most affected by the impact of the volcano, including those currently displaced and living in shelters.”