Saint Lucia has come to the rescue of 136 citizens of the OECS stranded in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said Saturday on his official Facebook page that this country has helped the OECS citizens.
Chastanet said the OECS citizens are part of the seasonal agricultural workers’ programme.
They were en route to Canada for employment.
But Friday’s eruption of La Soufriere volcano disrupted their plans to fly from Saint Vincent to Canada.
The group comprises 95 Vincentians, 18 Saint Lucians and 23 Grenadians, Prime Minister Chastanet stated.
They arrived Saturday morning via the Cruise Ship ‘Serenade of the Seas’ and will be going to various local hotels.
Chastanet said they will remain in Saint Lucia for a few days until they can board a flight to Canada.
He also explained that the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), the Ministry of Health, the Saint Lucia Air and Seaports Authority (SLASPA), the Ministry of Tourism, the Department of Labour and all other relevant agencies are assisting in coordinating matters and ensuring all the necessary public health protocols are followed.
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee told reporters that once the farm workers leave, Saint Lucia will have more space to accommodate Vincentian evacuees.
Fedee recalled that this country’s initial agreement with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is for Saint Lucia to host 300 Vincentians.
However, he said the number does not include the Vincentian farm workers who are now here.
Headline photo caption: Some of the stranded OECS nationals board a bus after arrival