World Bank to provide US$20m for St Vincent
Washington – The World Bank Monday said it is providing US$20 million to support the St Vincent and the Grenadines government as it responds to the crisis posed by the La Soufrière volcano eruption.
The explosive eruption began last Friday and has required the evacuation of 20 000 people from the high-risk zones around the volcano, both to other parts of the island and surrounding countries. Explosions are continuing, and the falling ash is causing air quality concerns and interruptions in electricity and water supply.
“Our hearts are with the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines during this crisis,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean.
“We are committed to supporting the response efforts at this critical time when the country faces this new disaster while already managing the social and economic effects of the pandemic.”
The Washington-based financial institution said that the funds are being disbursed from a contingent credit line known as the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), approved in June 2020. The Cat-DDO instrument is designed to provide immediate liquidity to support a country’s efforts to recover from disasters triggered by natural hazards or a public health emergency.
In recent years, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been making efforts to strengthen its preparedness and capacity to respond to disasters. (CMC)