UNICEF provides humanitarian assistance to almost 5,000 children affected by volcano eruption in St Vincent | UNICEF Canada: For Every Child Skip to main content
Publication Date: 2021/04/12

BRIDGETOWN / PANAMA CITY, 11 April 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 local and international partners, UNICEF immediately started providing humanitarian assistance to approximately 4,800 children in need, a number of them in temporary housing and shelters across the Caribbean. 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 US$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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About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach spans more than 190 countries and territories, ensuring we are on the ground to help the most disadvantaged children. While part of the UN system, UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations to finance our life-saving work. Please visit unicef.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

For further information:

Emily O’Connor Communications Manager EOconnor@unicef.ca 416 482-6552 x8866 / 647-500-4230
Marie-Claude Rouillard Communications Manager MRouillard@unicef.ca (514) 288-5134 ext 8425 / 514-232-4510