U.S. Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Linda Taglialatela has announced an additional US$3.8 million in humanitarian assistance for people affected by the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in St. Vincent.
This additional support through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide thousands of people in St. Vincent with emergency food assistance, access to safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, essential household items, and hygiene promotion activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases in shelters and communities, she told a press conference in Kingstown on Friday.
The funds will also provide essential medical supplies and support for health facilities, as well as support for logistics to move, store, and distribute emergency items where they are needed.
“This assistance not only helps St. Vincent in its hour of need but it also contributes to the start of its recovery,” Taglialatela said.
“The United States is a neighbour, partner, and friend… That is what this support demonstrates and the purpose of my trip today. All Vincentians should know that the United States will walk with you on the road to recovery.”
Prime Minister Gonsalves thanked the ambassador for the generous support saying, “I want to thank the American Government for their assistance and send my greetings to President Biden and Vice President Harris.
“From the very beginning we made the point that we cannot address these issues by ourselves through our own capacity, our own plans, and institutions. We rely on our Caribbean family and the global community.”
This new commitment adds to on-going U.S. support to people affected by La Soufriere’s eruption, bringing total U.S. assistance to nearly US$4.7 million, including in-kind supplies and support through existing partners and programs.
Thanks to past technical support for volcano monitoring through the USAID-U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, local authorities were able to provide early warning and mobilise evacuations before the eruption.
U.S. disaster experts remain on the ground in St. Vincent and the region, working in coordination with local and regional disaster responders to assess humanitarian needs.