The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, has told the world that his country is in a dire situation, after explosive eruptions at La Soufrière volcano.
Gonsalves spoke as the United Nations Tuesday launched a US$29 million appeal for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The initiative is also on behalf of other countries affected by the volcanic eruptions.
“We are in a dire situation frankly,” Gonsalves declared.
As a result he said his country needs a lot of money for measures such as social protection and feeding people.
“And we have to do this for a long time,” Gonsalves explained.
He disclosed that his country had to evacuate close to one-fifth of the main Island of Saint Vincent.
In addition, Gonsalves explained that the Northern one third of the country which he described as good for agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry and tourism spots, was ‘all gone’.
“The ash, the volcanic activity – it’s now a relative wasteland,” the Vincentian PM observed.
He said it would take lot to recover.
Gonsalves said in the meantime the authorities have to feed people in shelters and homes.
“You are talking about registered in excess of 12,000 persons,” he explained.
But Gonsalves said that the UN system and the global community have expressed great interest.
For that, he thanked UN Secretary General, António Guterres.
He said Guterres had taken a personal interest and is leading from the front.
UN Resident Coordinator, Didier Trebucq, who also spoke, urged the global community to ramp up support.
“As I said last week, we are dealing with a crisis within the COVID crisis,” Trebucq stated.
“And we fear the spike of COVID cases with people in shelter,” the UN official explained.
He also noted that the hurricane season is about to start in six weeks with predictions of an above average season.
As a result, Trebucq said there’s need to avoid a ‘multiple crisis scenario.’
He urged greater international support for what he described as the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding.
“We have no time to lose,” the UN official stated.