WASHINGTON, April 12, 2021 – The World Bank disbursed US$20 million to support the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ response to the crisis posed by the La Soufrière volcano eruption.
The explosive eruption began on April 8 and has required the evacuation of 20,000 people from the high-risk zones around the volcano, both to other parts of Saint Vincent and surrounding countries. Explosions are continuing, and the falling ash is causing air quality concerns and interruptions in electricity and water supply.
“Our hearts are with the people of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines during this crisis,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “We are committed to supporting the response efforts at this critical time when the country faces this new disaster while already managing the social and economic effects of the pandemic.”
The funds are disbursed from a contingent credit line from the World Bank, known as the Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat-DDO), approved in June 2020. The Cat-DDO instrument is designed to provide immediate liquidity to support a country’s efforts to recover from disasters triggered by natural hazards or a public health emergency. In recent years, the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has been making efforts to strengthen its preparedness and capacity to respond to disasters.
World Bank Group COVID-19 Response
The World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries, is taking broad, fast action to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response. We are increasing disease surveillance, improving public health interventions, and helping the private sector continue to operate and sustain jobs. Over the next 15 months, we will be deploying up to US$160 billion in financial support to help countries protect the poor and vulnerable, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery, including $50 billion of new IDA resources in grants or highly concessional terms.
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