Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, says Jamaica’s efforts to assist St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are ongoing as the islands continue to be impacted by continuous volcanic eruptions.
A shipment of supplies gathered through public and private contributions left the island on April 22 for SVG.
Minister McKenzie, who was on hand to observe the departure of the HMBS Lawrence Major from the Kingston Wharves terminal, said that the relief account opened for SVG donations will remain open. He noted that financial aid remains one of the items on the country’s needs list.
“We are getting in collections, not at the level that we want but there is a significant amount that has been deposited already to the account. That account will remain open for as long as possible so that we can provide the kind of financial assistance to our friends in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.
The account was opened at the National Commercial Bank’s Oxford Place Branch by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) to receive donations from the public. The account number is 212-387-304 and persons are encouraged to contribute to SVG’s disaster management and recovery.
In addition to the Jamaica Defence Force(JDF) Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART) that is on standby should SVG require their assistance, the Local Government Minister said ODPEM is also making preparations to assist with manpower.
“The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management has put together a team also that would help in the logistics in terms of the disaster plans on the ground. So, we will continue our efforts to assist the people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” he said.
SVG has been experiencing a series of explosive eruptions from the La Soufriere volcano since April 9,which has displaced thousands of persons and left the island covered in inches of volcanic ash.