The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation has contributed $40,000 to this country’s relief effort.

President of the SVG Football Federation, Venold Coombs handed over the cheque to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves at Cabinet Room on Tuesday.

The donation was made on behalf of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, (CONCACAF).

Coombs said the donation came as result of a discussion he had with CONCACAF’s president. He said he explained SVG’s circumstances to the president who decided to assist the country, in the aftermath of the low-level trough system on Christmas Eve.

Coombs said that as a national organization, the Federation saw the need to play its part towards the rebuilding of the nation. He added that he is seeking some assistance from the Federation of International Football Association, FIFA for the nation.

Meanwhile, Gonsalves expressed gratitude to the SVG Football Federation and CONCACAF for the donation. Gonsalves said the country has held things together so far and a lot of relief efforts are still on-going. He added that the country is about to commence the rehabilitation and re-construction phase.

The Prime Minister said 175 persons are in emergency shelters and he has to source EC$2.4 million to provide sustenance for these persons over a six-month period.

Gonsalves assured the nation that he is trying to get the housing programme together quickly. “The quicker we get the housing programme, the better it is for the people to get back into their homes,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves said in his Budget Address on Monday that 662 houses were damaged or destroyed by the extreme weather, some 300 of which require relocation.

Nine persons died and three are missing, while there was also extensive damage to roads, bridges and other public infrastructure, in addition to loss and damage to agriculture and forestry.

The Government has placed the damage preliminarily at EC$330 million.

(A. Sam/API)