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New President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Gene Leon, reconfirmed the Bank’s support for recovery and reconstruction efforts in St. Vincent and Grenadines during a courtesy call with Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, on Friday May 14, 2021.
Dr. Gonsalves was joined by CDB Governor for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Information Technology, Camilo Gonsalves and the Director General Finance & Planning, Edmond Jackson.
The discussions centred on the challenges the Eastern Caribbean nation now faces following a series of eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano in April which triggered significant economic fallout and social dislocation. With detailed needs assessments now being completed, the Bank is offering assistance through various avenues, including immediate response financing mechanisms and emergency grant facilities. Options for technical support and social protection interventions are also being explored.
The CDB President said, “the challenges are enormous, but CDB is already working with St. Vincent and the Grenadines to identify, prioritise and address the most urgent needs.”
Earlier this month, under its Volcano Ready Project, CDB provided relief supplies, including mattresses and water tanks as well as volcano monitoring and warning equipment valued at more than US$135,000. Prime Minister Gonsalves indicated that the reconstruction programme would require tremendous effort and resources as public infrastructure, agriculture and tourism, water facilities and numerous other amenities had been adversely affected by the eruptions.