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Agencies in SVG get more relief from US Diaspora

Agencies in SVG get more relief from US Diaspora
Left to Right: SENATOR KEISAL PETERS, Minister of State with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. SVG’S CONSUL GENERAL in New York Howie Prince & ATIBA WILLIAMS, PRO of SVG Relief USA Inc.

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THE GOVERNMENT of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) last Friday was among several recipients of an assortment of equipment and relief supplies from the SVG Relief USA Incorporated.

The supplies were handed over at a brief ceremony last Friday held at the Logistics hub of the World Food Programme (WFP) at the runway of the decommissioned ET Joshua Airport.

At the ceremony, senator Keisal Peters, Minister of State with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, thanked the Diaspora groups in the USA “for coming to our assistance in one of our darkest periods in Vincentian history, and for assisting the persons who have been displaced…and for assisting our agencies who are represented here today because these relief items and equipment… will assist our agencies with what we are now undertaking, which is the cleanup process.”

Delivering opening remarks, SVG’s Consul General in New York Howie Prince, said the members of the Vincentian Diaspora who journeyed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to deliver much needed items of equipment and relief supplies.

“When La Soufriere erupted we were all concerned. Those of us who live and work in the United States, and we decided that the best that we could do is to do the best that we can do to help,” Prince said.

From the Consulate in the USA and other organisations, persons came together to conduct a massive relief mobilisation effort to gather and distribute to persons who were displaced by the volcanic eruptions.

“Today we are on the ground to hand over, symbolically in some cases, but real in other cases the fruits of our labour from the work that we have done in New York,” the Consul General added.

The results of their work resulted in the provision of five 40-foot containers with supplies of which four are already in SVG and the fifth is enroute. Added was a plane load of relief supplies sent previously through the UPS.

One of the principal institutions involved is SVG Relief USA, a non-profit organisation operating in New York which was established in 2013.

“We are the main organisation in the USA to send relief supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” stated Atiba Williams, PRO of SVG Relief USA Inc., at last Friday’s ceremony.

In addition to sending containers of relief supplies, Williams pointed out that the organisation has also been assisting the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) with PPEs to help combat the dengue fever outbreak and the coronavius pandemic.

“We have had generous donations and outpouring of support from New York and within the US,” Williams added, “we have established numerous partnerships which we also sent relief supplies to.”

SVG Relief USA sent relief supplies to the Rotary Club, the SVG Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the HIV/Aids Secretariat,

as well as some private entities.

According to Williams, the group is on a fact-finding mission, which was expected to last about one week, but has extended into three weeks. Members have journeyed to Fancy and other communities in the red zone on both the Windward and Leeward sides of the island, as they seek to have a firm grasp of the actual needs of the affected residents.

“We have met with the various agencies which are handling the relief effort, and we are pleased with what we have been seeing. There are some areas for concern, but those can be addressed and will be addressed, and we’ll be doing a full report when we get back,” Williams stated. This report will be shared with the public via a press conference, and copies will be sent to all of their partners.

Among the agencies receiving equipment are the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, the Prison department, BRAGSA, the Kingstown Town Board, and the government of SVG.