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More countries contribute to SVG’s flood relief efforts


A wide coalition of countries has reached out to help Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as it copes with the devastating effects of the flash flooding which impacted northeastern St. Vincent in April this year.{{more}}

To date, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Pakistan and Taiwan have all made contributions to the relief effort. Australia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Pakistan, which have all experienced devastating flooding of their own in recent years, responded to requests of assistance from the Permanent Mission of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations. Georgia, which established diplomatic relations with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines less than one year ago, has pledged to provide additional resources in the future. Pakistan has also promised further assistance.

In a letter from Australia’s United Nations Permanent Representative to Ambassador Camillo Gonsalves, the Australian envoy wrote that “I am pleased to advise that the Australian Government will meet 100% of the costs (estimated at A$38,000) for relief assistance provided by the Red Cross for the 200 families directly affected by this disaster. . . We will also explore future opportunities to support organisations involved in rebuilding efforts in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines following the immediate disaster relief response.”

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Pakistan donated a total of US $60,000 (approximately EC$ 160,000) to the relief efforts. Brazil’s donation of US$62,000 (EC$165,500) was provided through Brazil’s Ambassador to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, while Taiwan has delivered US$500,000 (EC$1.4 million) of the US$2 million (EC$5.4 million) that it pledged during the recent visit by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves to that country.

While not related to the flood relief, Qatar’s previously pledged US$1 million (EC$2.7 million) for Hurricane Thomas relief was wired to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines within weeks of the flood impact.

Ambassador Gonsalves has extended his gratitude to the countries on behalf of the Government and people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He has noted that, while some of the contributions are modest, they represent an important act of solidarity with the Vincentian people and empathy with the victims of the disaster.

In the six months between October 2010 and April 2011, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was struck by two devastating weather events: Hurricane Thomas and April’s flash flooding. Each disaster has caused damage approaching EC$100 million. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) have called on Vincentians to be vigilant and prepared for the 2011 Hurricane Season, which began on 1st June and continues to 30th November.