Caricom commits to continue supporting St VincentThursday, April 15, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) have committed to continue providing extensive support to St Vincent and the Grenadines and pledged solidarity with that member state as it strove to cope with the disaster.
The commitment was made during a special emergency session held today to discuss the situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines caused by the on-going volcanic eruptions of La Soufriere.
The volcano erupted on Friday, April 9 and has been spewing ash and emitting pyroclastic flows.
During the meeting, the heads of Government were informed that the situation would be prolonged given the level of uncertainty in respect of the behaviour of the volcano.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves reported that more than 10,000 people had been evacuated from the immediate disaster area covering approximately one third of the island. He said they are being housed in shelters and at homes of family and friends. He also noted that accommodation for evacuees is being arranged by neighbouring states.
It was further pointed out that the ash and the pyroclastic flows have decimated crops and vegetation and compromised water sources as food and water were identified as primary needs.
Member states indicated the level of support that had already been delivered and committed to providing further financial, technical and material support, in particular food and water.
Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley also alerted the meeting to the effects of the unprecedented heavy ashfall across that island which has resulted in major disruptions to the infrastructure including the closure of the Grantley Adams International Airport with an adverse effect on the tourism sector and the wider economy.
The heads of Government pledged their support and solidarity with Barbados in treating with this significant challenge.
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