(AFP) – The prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines pleaded on Monday for countries to donate generously following a series of devastating volcanic eruptions in the Caribbean nation.
“Please help St Vincent and the Grenadines in its midnight hour of need,” Ralph Gonsalves told a United Nations Security Council meeting.
The La Soufriere volcano erupted for the first time in 40 years on April 9. Eruptions have continued to occur daily, with ash clouds covering the country and reaching surrounding islands.
Gonsalves said nearly one fifth of the country’s 110,000 people have been evacuated to safer areas.
He added that the situation could become more precarious with the Atlantic hurricane season due to start in six weeks’ time.
“It’s a monumental challenge of humanitarian relief, inclusive of security considerations, recovery and reconstruction,” he added.
“Without effective cooperation between our country, the United Nations, and our regional (and) sub-regional organizations, our life and living would be wholly unbearable.”
The UN is due to launch an appeal fund on Tuesday.
“Be generous in your solidarity,” Gonsalves said.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the smallest state to ever sit on the UN Security Council, where its two-year term as a non-permanent member ends in December.