BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — As the region rallies to assist the thousands of people in St Vincent and the Grenadines displaced by the eruption of the La Soufriere volcano, CIBC FirstCaribbean has sent a shipment of much-needed supplies to the island.
The shipment, which was coordinated by the Barbados Coast Guard, left the island on Thursday evening aboard the Admiral Bay, which was due to arrive in St Vincent early Friday morning and will be presented to the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).
The relief supplies, which include over 40 pallets of food, water, cleaning supplies and sanitary items, were purchased by funds donated by the bank’s charitable arm, the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation.
The foundation’s Chair and the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Colette Delaney said the bank shared a “deep concern for the well-being and safety of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines as they are confronted with the twin threats of an erupting volcano and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”.
She said the eruption in St Vincent and the subsequent ash falls in Barbados and neighboring islands demonstrated how interconnected the islands of the region are. She also noted the sense of community demonstrated within the Caribbean in times of disaster, which she observed was borne out in how quickly the Caribbean reached out — within hours of the first eruption — with offers of aid to the people of St Vincent.
“It is a testament to the closeness and sense of family of our region,” Delaney said. “We’ve seen this in times of disaster and need over and over again. It proves that, despite our differences of opinion and sometimes our squabbles, family always comes first.
“Our thoughts immediately go to the people of St Vincent and our prayer is that they will continue to be safe.”