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Japan Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tatsuo Hirayama. (Photo: DPI Guyana/Facebook)
Japan Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tatsuo Hirayama. (Photo: DPI Guyana/Facebook)

Tatsuo Hirayama, Japan’s ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who is based in Trinidad, will be on a three-day mission to St. Vincent and the Grenadines from today (Monday) through Wednesday.

The ambassador’s delegation will include Sarah Bailey, head of programme, World Food Programme Caribbean of Multi-Country Office and Robert Natiello, regional coordination officer of the Caribbean and Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration (IOM). 

Hirayama will meet with Prime Minister; Ralph Gonsalves on Tuesday and with other government officials throughout his thee-day visit. 

On Tuesday, there will be a ceremony at the  Lewis Punnett Home in Orange Hill at 3  p.m.  Hirayama, UN partners and a representative from the Government of SVG will give brief remarks and kick-start works on the rehabilitation of the Lewis Punnett Home. 

The delegation will also visit Sandy Bay, one of the communities recovering from the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. 

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In December 2020, through partnership with the Government of Japan, WFP and Ministry of National Mobilisation, Social Development, Family, Gender Affairs, Youth, Housing and Informal Human Settlement, there was the Soufriere Relief Grant programme to include value vouchers that  allowed people to meet food and related needs during the holidays. 

Depending on family size, 3,000 recipient households received vouchers valued between EC$350  to EC $500, reaching 18,000 men, women and children who continue to feel the effects of April;’s eruption of La Soufriere.

The United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) partnered with the Government of SVG on the national response to the volcanic eruptions since April 2021. 

WFP has worked with the National Emergency Management Organisation, the ministries of National Mobilisation and Education, providing emergency logistics support and technical assistance and resources for cash and voucher assistance to displaced persons from the red and orange zones through the Soufriere Relief Grant. 

In St Vincent and the Grenadines, through partnership with the Government of Japan, NEMO, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Health, the International Organization for Migration is supporting the management of the emergency shelters that are still in use, the repairs of washrooms in 21 schools around the mainland and retrofitting the Lewis Punnett facility in Orange Hill into a welcoming, safe and eco-friendly home for 40 senior citizens.