26 April, 2021 - As the growing humanitarian crisis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines continues with estimations that it could last several months, UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean has mobilized USD 300,000 from UNDP Core Funding towards the relief efforts. This initial funding will be channeled towards Pillar One and Two of The UNDP Crisis Response and Recovery Programme for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Pillar 1 prioritizes the execution of Household and Building Damage Assessments (HBDA) which will allow for data driven and evidence-based decision-making processes. While Pillar 2 addresses more immediate needs of cleaning volcanic ash, clearing debris and supporting economic reactivation in the most affected areas while providing emergency employment to over 2,000 households directly impacted by the volcano eruption.
The funds are part of the anticipated resources needed to support coordination and assessments in Barbados and Saint Vincent and Grenadines and facilitate the cleaning of ash and debris in SVG. The UN launched a USD 29.2 million global funding appeal to secure the necessary assistance to mitigate the impacts of the eruptions. As the global lead on recovery, with a permanent presence in St. Vincent and the Grenadines UNDP’s solid working relationship with the government and established community networks due to ongoing projects in the country, will allow the teams of the Multi-Country Office in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean to quickly offer their experience in crisis response operations in the region, to assist national efforts to accelerate recovery and reactivate local economies.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago as well as their UNDP Country Office, joined Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in the effort to procure and transport tools, equipment, PPE and other supplies to effectively execute the clean-up and emergency work programme. The equipment will be entrusted to the community after the clean-up is completed as part of UNDP’s mandate to promote resilient communities and build forward better. Barbados will also directly benefit from the funding as USD 20,000 will be used support the removal of volcanic ash and material from the island.
Reaffirming UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean’s commitment to assist national institutions and impacted communities recover from the impact of the volcano’s eruption. Valerie Cliff, Resident Representative, UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, stated, “As UN global lead on recovery, we have extensive experience in crisis operations, including in Dominica and the Bahamas. We remain steadfast in our support to the government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines throughout this crisis, and will ensure that our recovery efforts are inclusive, sustainable, meet the needs of the most vulnerable and build more resilient communities”.
At this time when exogenous threats like COVID-19 and the current volcanic eruption in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are prevalent, it is vital that developmental efforts are continued to reinforce the need for regional resilience and building forward better. This response is part of the work of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in its commitment to promoting economic diversification, job creation and resilience with the "Blue Economy for Green Islands" vision. As the Caribbean continues to seek solutions to build resilience and livelihoods for traditionally vulnerable groups, UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in partnership with governments and stakeholders, remains dedicated to the advancement of inclusive and sustainable development throughout the region and building resilient communities that can withstand shocks and crises through targeted projects and programmes.
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