U.S. Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Linda Taglialatela announced in Kingstown an additional US$3.8 million in humanitarian assistance for people affected by the eruption of La Soufriere volcano on the island of Saint Vincent. This additional support through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide thousands of people in Saint Vincent with emergency food assistance, access to safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, essential household items, and hygiene promotion activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases in shelters and communities. The funds will also provide essential medical supplies and support for health facilities, as well as support for logistics to move, store, and distribute emergency items where they are needed.
During a press conference with Vincentian Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, U.S. Ambassador Taglialatela said, “This assistance not only helps St. Vincent in its hour of need but it also contributes to the start of its recovery.” “The United States is a neighbor, partner, and friend,” she continued. “That is what this support demonstrates and the purpose of my trip today. All Vincentians should know that the United States will walk with you on the road to recovery.”
Prime Minister Gonsalves thanked the Ambassador for the generous support saying, “I want to thank the American government for their assistance and send my greetings to President Biden and Vice President Harris. From the very beginning we made the point that we cannot address these issues by ourselves through our own capacity, our own plans, and institutions. We rely on our Caribbean family and the global community.”
This new commitment adds to ongoing U.S. support to people affected by La Soufrière’s eruption, bringing total U.S. assistance to nearly US$4.7 million, including in-kind supplies and support through existing partners and programs. Thanks to past technical support for volcano monitoring through the USAID-U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, local authorities were able to provide early warning and mobilize evacuations before the eruption. U.S. disaster experts remain on the ground in Saint Vincent and the region, working in coordination with local and regional disaster responders to assess humanitarian needs.