OECS Raises 4.9 Million Dollars In-Kind and Cash Support for St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Stronger Together Campaign Delivers $355,536.78 in Cash
Monday, October 25, 2021 — The Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission is honoured to fulfill its commitment to providing relief and recovery resources to St. Vincent and the Grenadines following the devastation and displacement caused by the eruptions of the La Soufriere Volcano in April of 2021.
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the Commission launched a resource mobilisation strategy which leveraged its partnership network of diplomatic missions, development partners, and private and public sector partners to channel assistance for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
This comprehensive strategy resulted in the mobilisation of relief items, development funding and cash valued at approximately XCD 4.9 Million, which largely included in-kind relief items donated via the Commission or directly to St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a result of the Commission’s efforts.
A synopsis of this strategy included:
- The formation of the Coalition for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Stronger Together: We Are a Global Family Campaign; the latter included the design and launch of a crowd-funding campaign.
- Leveraging a network of partners through the OECS Pooled Procurement and Supply Chain Management Unit (PPS).
- Connecting with key development partners and diplomatic allies through the OECS Brussels and Geneva Missions.
- Designing and implementing an aggressive social media campaign directed at bringing visibility to the situation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the aim of getting Caribbean nationals and the diaspora to contribute towards the effort.
- Leveraging the network of private sector organisations across the Caribbean and globally.
At a Virtual Handover Ceremony held on Friday, October 22, 2021, the OECS Commission and the Global Coalition in support of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in association with the Oxygen with Nicole (O2N) Foundation, presented a cheque of XCD $355,536.78 in cash raised via the "Stronger Together: We Are A Global Family" Campaign to the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The volcano-ravaged island nation also benefited from an additional XCD 3.1 Million in cash and in-kind donations raised by the Commission, and will further benefit from XCD 1.4 Million in project funding that will be executed by the Commission's Environmental Sustainability Division.
"In doing this handover, we are simply the channel through which the love of our Caribbean people is transmitted," OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, noted. "Donations have come from private citizens and from the business sector – from organisations within the region and beyond."
"On behalf of the OECS, I take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed magnanimous support, large or small, to our international call to action," he added.
Accepting the contributions on behalf of the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Honourable Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology, said:
"Through the efforts of the OECS almost 5 Million dollars have been raised, some of it in cash, some of it in-kind, and some through various projects.
I am extremely grateful, and the government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are extremely grateful, to the yeoman effort, the tireless service of Dr. Jules and the OECS and to you, the people of the Eastern Caribbean, for your generosity of spirit, for your solidarity and for your commitment to being your brother’s keeper. We couldn’t do it without you.
We are grateful for what we have received so far. We know that we have not exhausted your generosity and your solidarity and, as we emerge from this Stronger Together as a region, we know that we can continue to count on Dr. Jules, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, and the peoples of the Eastern Caribbean in striving higher, building back better and achieving great things together."
The OECS Commission, on behalf of the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, extends heartfelt gratitude to the local, regional and international agencies that supported the Organisation’s coordinated effort by way of a Memoranda of Understanding mobilised through the OECS Pooled Procurement and Supply Chain Management Unit – OECS PPS.
These agencies include:
- Afiya Foundation
- Stronger Together Campaign
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs New Zealand
- European Union
- Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States
- European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- Emergency Response Coordination Centre of ECHO
The Commission also extends sincere appreciation to its Corporate Partners who answered the regional clarion call for assistance. These include:
- SEWA International, Trinidad and Tobago
- National Commercial Bank Jamaica Ltd
- Guardian Group
- RIF Trust and Latitude
- Jamaica Stock Exchange
- Global Coalition in support of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- iCreate and Sunsplash Jamaica
- O2N Foundation and OMG Media Group
- Global Leadership Forum
- Bank of Saint Lucia
- Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
Considerable support was also provided by Caribbean nationals within the region and in the Diaspora. The Commission thanks you for your contributions to your brothers and sisters in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The OECS Commission remains deeply committed to supporting the Government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as the country continues efforts to recover from the volcanic eruptions and navigate the innumerable challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.