As part of the cooperation and solidarity among the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP), this regional integration bloc moves forward with the humanitarian bridge to assist the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ people, following the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano, which had remained inactive for 30 years.
The President of the Bank of ALBA, Raúl Li Causi, said that “the idea of this humanitarian bridge is to help other countries in the region which do not rely on logistics deliver supplies collected to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,” and highlighted Venezuela’s cooperation through a navy ship available to sail through the Eastern Caribbean islands and countries and transport water and food for the victims of this volcanic eruption.
After the Venezuelan Government sent 20 tons of humanitarian aid consisting of water, food, mattresses, sheets, personal hygiene kits, as well as 68 doctors and experts in natural disasters, including 15 members of the Simón Bolívar Humanitarian Task Force, to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the ship departed to Saint Lucia to transport supplies from there.
“We told the Government of Saint Lucia that our ship could make stops at two docks, where Prime Minister Allen Chastanet verified the humanitarian aid sent to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and thanked Venezuela and ALBA-TCP for the humanitarian bridge,” said Li Causi.
Likewise, he informed the ship will head back to the affected country and Cuba will provide two aircrafts with humanitarian aid that will arrive in Saint Lucia due to the difficulties to land in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, covered by the ashes produced by the volcano’s eruption.
Li Causi, who is also Foreign Vice-minister for the Caribbean, announced that Venezuela will also send six Cuban doctors to assist the island’s population.
“This is all part of the ALBA cooperation; it’s not only bilateral cooperation as we can all join efforts to face the needs of Saint Vincent,” he said.
Since Friday, April 9, the Vincentian people has been at risk due to the volcanic activity. The first eruption produced a huge ash plume and forced authorities to evacuate 20,000 people from affected areas.
On Monday, April 12, another eruption was registered, producing a 17 km high ash plume that covered a large part of the Caribbean island and affected part of Barbados.