Rhianna Mc Kenzie
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it will be donating US$100,000 in disaster relief to people affected by the La Soufriere volcano eruption in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
In a statement on Tuesday, it said this assistance follows the support it has already provided to the country’s National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) for evacuation efforts as well as humanitarian needs through the Red Cross.
The statement said, “Up to 19,000 people are being evacuated for an undetermined period and will require humanitarian assistance.”
The release said USAID is working with the country’s Red Cross to provide immediate assistance to evacuees, including thousands of people in emergency evacuation shelters.
“Disaster experts from USAID are on the ground in SVG, working in close coordination with local and regional disaster response authorities and organisations, including the local government’s NEMO, which is leading the evacuation operations.”
It said USAID-US Geological Survey’s Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) will continue to support the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Centre to monitor the volcano. The centre has indicated in its daily updates that the eruption may continue for an unknown period.
“These teams have been collaborating closely since December, when there was an initial rise in La Soufriere’s activity.”
USAID is the latest to support humanitarian efforts in the country in recent days. Aid from Trinidad and Tobago left on Tuesday on its way to St Vincent and the Grenadines on the Galleons Passage. TT soldiers loaded the vessel with medical supplies and personnel, and food.
The Venezuelan government also sent 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the country on Monday.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonzales and the Venezuelan Vice Minister for the Caribbean Raul Li Causi received a Venezuelan navy ship in the south of St Vincent after the eruption.