St Vincent and the Grenadines: Following the repercussions of the La Soufrière volcanic eruptions on the island, the government of Jamaica is committed to delivering humanitarian endorsement to St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, highlighted this during the sitting of the Senate at Gordon House on 23 April. On this, she further stated, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has been part of the team coordinating relief efforts for the cause.”
Smith further informed that efforts from the government of Jamaica are being made locally and through overseas missions based on a ‘Needs List’ shared by the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Senator John Smith further declared that Jamaica is continuously in contact with St Vincent via the Foreign Ministry, through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), and through the officials of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
“More than $20 million worth of supplies is currently bound for St. Vincent and the Grenadines
aboard the HMBS Lawrence Major, a vessel operated by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force”, said Senator Smith.
The relief items on board include -drinking water, disaster kits, two pallets of animal feed, IV fluid, needles, antibiotics and syringes for support of SVG’s agricultural sector.
Smith further declared that “The disaster response machinery, led by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, through ODPEM, continues to assemble disaster relief aid for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
“The Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is ready if needed, as discussed between Prime Ministers Ralph Gonsalves and the Hon. Andrew Holness” announced Mrs Smith.
Mrs Smith further encouraged people to make a donation through the account
established by ODPEM. The details of the account are as follows: Name – Donation Account for Saint Vincent Relief; Bank – NCB, Oxford Road, Branch Account: 212-387-304.
Following the statement, she further stated, “According to the most recent update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other organisations, between 16,000 and 20,000 people are expected to be displaced. Entire villages have been covered in ash, which has destroyed crops, livestock and contaminated sources of potable water.”
In the Meantime, Mrs Johnson Smith declared that “Jamaica’s High Commissioner in Port of Spain (Trinidad), who is recognized to SVG, and Honorary Consul on the ground in St. Vincent and the Grenadines have been closely monitoring the situation as well as that of the Jamaican community.”