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Thursday 8 April 2021 was an unforgettable day for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the entire Caribbean. It was the date that the La Soufriere volcano erupted. This triggered an immediate mandatory evacuation and over twenty thousand people were displaced with approximately 4500 housed in public shelters. There was also an estimated USD 114.7M in damages across various sectors. 

The UNFPA was quick to respond to this emergency to ensure that there was consideration for sexual and reproductive health as well as the prevention of gender-based violence, particularly in emergency shelters. As part of our response we took a number of actions:

We prepositioned 614 Dignity Kits in Antigua & Barbuda and 250 in Barbados.

UNFPA developed a quick guidance on the safe distribution of the Dignity Kits, for the Gender Affairs Division’s team and the Protection Working Group partners.

UNFPA remotely provided regular GBViE technical assistance support to the Gender Affairs Division

Technical support was provided to the FP/Maternal health coordinator of the Ministry of Health to identify and address the sexual and reproductive health needs

UNFPA supported a rapid SRH needs assessment in shelters and guided the mapping of nearest health facilities to the shelters.During the period of May 13th to May 21st, UNFPA SROC, in collaboration with OECS and WB, facilitated a MISP capacity building training in SVG for programme managers, followed by a MISP readiness assessment (MRA), which resulted in an agreed work plan to address the main needs and gaps.

Our goal is to support the response of stakeholders in addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender-Based Violence needs in humanitarian settings such as this emergency in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and we will continue to provide the support and guidance that is needed to accomplish this mission across the Caribbean.