The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is urging organisations and individuals across the region that wish to contribute to the disaster relief efforts for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to do so through their national disaster offices.
In Jamaica’s case, that entity is the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).
Speaking at a virtual press conference staged by the Barbados Public Affairs Department on April 14, the Head of CDEMA, Elizabeth Riley, thanked the public for its generosity but noted the need for coordinated approaches to contributions.
“I want to [acknowledge] the general public and the private sector of the CDEMA participating states that have really rallied around the government and the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at this time and to thank you for your extreme generosity. It is deeply appreciated,” she said.
“I want to, however, urge you to coordinate with your national disaster offices, and I am speaking to the public across the Caribbean. I know that many entities are absolutely well meaning [but] please stay in touch with your disaster offices,” she said.
“Ensure that the work that you are doing is consistent with the needs list that has been issued. We are discouraging unsolicited items from the needs list because we don’t want to create a secondary disaster by overloading the country with items that are not prioritised at this time,” she pointed out.
Ms. Riley said that the needs list will be revised as demands in SVG change, which will be communicated through the national disaster offices.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, in a news release on Wednesday (April 14), said that Jamaica is organising logistical and other forms of support to assist the island.
He informed that the Government is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and private-sector partners, including the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, to finalise relief efforts.
In addition, he said that an account has been opened at the NCB’s Oxford Place Branch to receive donations from the public. The account number is 212-387-304.
CDEMA is overseeing the mobilisation of resources to SVG.
Approximately 20,000 persons have been displaced since the April 9 explosive eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in the island.
As at Wednesday, there were 87 public shelters housing 3,984 persons on the island and 2,048 persons being housed with 446 families. The registration and tallying of displaced individuals are ongoing.