A UN official has warned that the humanitarian crisis caused by the Volcanic eruptions from the La Soufrière volcano in St Vincent will last months.
The eruption of the La Soufrière volcano is the first since 1979 and over 20,000 or close to one-fifth of the population, have since been evacuated from their homes.
Ashfall has contaminated clean water supplies on the island and officials are worried that the disaster will lead to an intensified Covid-19 outbreak.
Mass testing and contact tracing is to be stepped up but with a fifth of the population evacuated from their homes, this is set to be a difficult task.
Sister Caribbean nations have been transporting in water but many people remain displaced in some 87 shelters which lack essential facilities.
Some locals have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries on fishing boats.
Didier Trebucq, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the Caribbean said, “We are about to initiate the UN funding appeal and response plan to support the humanitarian response, but also the early recovery for the next six months.
“This is a crisis that is going to last certainly more than six months in the sub-region, in Saint Vincent, and other islands.”
The 4,000 feet tall volcano continues to erupt at regular intervals which continues to worry officials.
Trebucq added, “We are expecting that continuous explosions and ashfall will continue over the coming weeks in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, but also in neighbouring islands such as Barbados, which has also been severely affected…as well as Saint Lucia and Grenada.”
How you can help
The UK-SCG Friendship Trust partnered with the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines High Commission to set up a Go Fund Me page to raise monetary contributions for those in need which you can find here.
The website for the High Commission for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines also has a page that lists ways you can donate.
The Twitter account for the High Commission also lists outreach opportunities and charitable action.