Kingston, Jamaica – Monday 19th April 2021. With the island of St. Vincent & the Grenadines facing a humanitarian crisis with the ongoing La Soufriere volcanic activity causing the mass displacement of over 30,000 people, food insecurity and a potential public health emergency, Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien, is calling on the UK Government to step up and do the right thing.
Nations like St. Vincent & the Grenadines have historically been slave nations of the UK and, since Independence in 1979, have maintained strong political, legal, administrative, tourist and trade links with the UK. As part of the Windrush Generation, who assisted British reconstruction activities after the devastation of World War 2, they served in many occupations hit by labour shortages - yet their children were subjected to deportation and threats of deportation from the UK despite living and working there for decades because of a lack of official paperwork.
The UK Government committed just £200,000 through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) support the regional response to the ongoing La Soufriere volcanic activity.
Commenting on the UK Government’s lack of support, Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien, said; “In a time of dire need, the UK Government’s pitiful donation is a slap in the face to the people of St. Vincent & the Grenadines who, as members of the Commonwealth, find themselves in a desperate situation. The UK Government needs to step up, do the right thing and increase substantially its aid and financial assistance as a matter of urgency; this would be a small measure of the historical debt owed to these communities.”