NEW YORK — St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) continues to receive assistance as it copes with the effects of the flash floods that affected northeastern St. Vincent in April.
Australia, one of the most recent contributors, has pledged to pay the approximately AU$38,000 (EC$108,400) for relief assistance provided by the Red Cross to the 200 families directly affected by the disaster.
SVG’s U.N. mission said in a press statement that a wide coalition of countries have contributed to the relief effort, namely Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Pakistan and Taiwan have also contributed to the relief effort.
Australia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Pakistan, which have also experienced devastating floods in recent years, responded to requests for assistance from the Permanent Mission SVG to the United Nations.
Georgia, which established diplomatic relations with SVG less than one year ago, has pledged to provide additional resources in the future. Pakistan has also promised further assistance.
Gary Quinlan, Australia’s ambassador to the United Nations, in a letter to his Vincentian counterpart, Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, said that in addition to funding the Red Cross expenses, the Australian government “will also explore future opportunities to support organisations involved in rebuilding efforts in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines following the immediate disaster relief response.”
Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Pakistan donated a total of US$60,000 (EC$ 160,000) to the relief efforts. Brazil donated US$62,000 (EC$165,500) while Taiwan has delivered US$500,000 (EC$1.4 million) of the US$2 million (EC$5.4 million) that it pledged during the recent visit by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves to that country.
While not related to the flood relief, Qatar’s previously pledged US$1 million (EC$2.7 million) for Hurricane Thomas relief was wired to SVG within weeks of the flood.
Ambassador Gonsalves has thanked the countries, noted that while some of the contributions are modest, they represent an important act of solidarity with the Vincentian people and empathy with the victims of the disaster, according to the press statement.
Between October 2010 and April 2011, SVG was struck by two devastating weather events: Hurricane Thomas and the flash floods in April, with each disaster causing damage of EC$100 million.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and the National Emergency Management Organisation have called on Vincentians to be vigilant and prepared for the 2011 Hurricane Season, which began on June 1 and continues to Nov. 31.