St. Vincent & Grenadines

UNICEF starts providing humanitarian assistance to about 5,000 children affected by volcano eruption in St Vincent

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BRIDGETOWN/PANAMA CITY, 11 April 2021- Between 16,000 and 20,000 people, including children, have been evacuated due to the eruption of La Soufriere Volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday.

Together with its partners, UNICEF immediately started providing humanitarian assistance to approximately 4,800 children in need, a portion of them being in shelters.

Moreover, above 1,000 displaced families are expected to require immediate economic assistance due to the disruption of their vulnerable livelihoods. A total of 62 shelters were opened on island, hosting at least 3,200 people.

Within 24 hours after the explosion, UNICEF provided an estimated 9,000 people, including children, with access to safe water and hygiene services in the evacuation shelters. These critical supplies included collapsible water bladders, collapsible water containers, purification tablets, and dignity kits.

“Our immediate concern is the well-being and safety of not only the almost 5,000 children and their families in the immediate danger zone but those in all of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Dr Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean. “In less than 24 hours we were able to dispatch life-saving water and sanitation supplies to Saint Vincent. But more resources are required to provide more humanitarian assistance to families still in need.”

Based on initial estimations, UNICEF requires US$925,000 to address immediate needs during the next 6 weeks, including life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene and Child Protection services, to reach the most vulnerable among the affected children and families.

Media contacts

Alfonso Fernández Reca Regional Communication Specialist UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean Tel: +507 69412277, Email: afernandezreca@unicef.org

Patrick Knight UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Area Tel: + 246 836-9962 Email: pknight@unicef.org