St Vincent and the Grenadines: Volcanoes

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 28th April 2021.

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Photo of The Earl of Sandwich The Earl of Sandwich Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what urgent steps they are taking in response to the volcanic eruptions in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are monitoring the situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines closely and our thoughts are with those affected by the eruptions.

To address immediate needs, on 12 April we pledged an initial £200,000 to the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) to help address the humanitarian impact of the eruptions. Urgently needed technical experts will support relief efforts on the ground, support emergency telecommunications, and restore critical lifeline facilities, such as water, health, agriculture and electricity. We have provided technical advice from the UK Government Office of Science (GO Science) and the British Geological Survey on how to deal with the significant ash fall (including on its impact on livestock).

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) have allocated $1m in response to the eruptions in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The UK is a longstanding supporter of the CERF. In 2020, the UK was one of the largest donors to the Fund, providing £66m ($88.6m) to support responses to humanitarian need across the globe.

Finally the UK is also a contributor to the International Federation of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) which has allocated funding of some £209,000 to the St Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross response.

I spoke to the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines and his High Commissioner to the UK on 14 April. I discussed initial and ongoing UK support for the recovery following the volcanic eruption.

We will continue to work with CDEMA and other appropriate agencies to scope further UK support following assessment of needs.

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