NEW YORK (April 11, 2021) – Between 16,000 and 20,000 people, including children, have been evacuated due to the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines last Friday.
Together with its partners, UNICEF immediately started providing humanitarian assistance to approximately 4,800 children in need, a number of them in shelters.
Moreover, more than 1,000 displaced and vulnerable families are expected to require immediate economic assistance due to the disruption of their livelihoods. A total of 62 shelters were opened on the island, hosting at least 3,200 people.
Within 24 hours after the explosion, 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.
“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 humanitarian assistance to families still in need.”
Based on initial estimations, UNICEF requires more than $900,000 to address immediate needs during the next 6 weeks, including life-saving water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as child protection services, to reach the most vulnerable among the affected children and families.
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
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