UNICEF providing humanitarian assistance to nearly 5,000 children affected by volcano eruption in Saint Vincent

BRIDGETOWN / PANAMA CITY, 11 April 2021 – At least 16,000 people have been evacuated due to the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday. UNICEF and its partners are on the ground providing humanitarian assistance to approximately 4,800 children in need, many of whom are now in shelters. A total of 62 shelters are now hosting some 3,200 people.

Within 24 hours of the eruption, UNICEF provided an estimated 9,000 people, including children, with access to safe water and hygiene services in the evacuation shelters. These critical supplies included collapsible water bladders, collapsible water containers, purification tablets, and dignity kits.

More than 1,000 displaced families are likely to need urgent economic assistance due to the disruption of their livelihoods.

“Our immediate concern is the well-being and safety of not only the almost 5,000 children and their families in the immediate danger zone but those in all of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Dr. Aloys Kamuragiye, UNICEF Representative for the Eastern Caribbean. “In less than 24 hours we were able to dispatch life-saving water and sanitation supplies to Saint Vincent. But more resources are required to provide more humanitarian assistance to families still in need.”

Based on initial estimations, UNICEF requires US$925,000 to address the immediate needs of affected children and families over the next six weeks, including through the provision of life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene and child protection services.

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