Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, says he is not telling anyone not to do anything with GoFundMe for the La Soufriere volcano relief effort.
He made the comments on Friday during an appearance on state-owned NBC Radio.
Gonsalves disclosed that the previous day, he learned that 1, 168 GoFundMe accounts exist.
And he said he had no doubt that some of the accounts are to help provide relief for families.
However, Gonsalves disclosed that he has deliberately stayed away from giving the government’s stamp of approval to ‘this or that account, set up by this or that person.’
But he recalled having said that the government does have a disaster fund account.
In addition, Gonsalves said there is another account involving banks, the UN, the OECS platform and accounts set up by overseas missions.
He said associations have also raised money and can decide where they want to send the cash.
“Government is not involved in that,” the Vincentian leader asserted.
“If they want to send any money to the government disaster account that is their decision to make,” he stated.
In this regard, Gonsavles took issue with what he described as the ‘foolishness’ people are saying.
“You get people talking that Ralph is telling you to send money, don’t send commodities, because Ralph want the government to put their hand on the money,” he said.
“You send your money to your family through Western Union for example, or to your account or any other payment system – that is from you to your family or who the individual is. The government doesn’t get involved,” he explained.
“In fact, what we have tried to do is work with the money services entities to see if we can have other locations,” Gonsalves said.
He told NBC Radio that the government has an interest in making sure that people do not stay too long in lines.
And Gonsalves said the country can achieve this by decentralising.