Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: La Soufrière volcanic eruption – Post-disaster needs assessment (August 2021) – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


1. Introduction

This document presents the background, effects, impact, recovery needs and recovery strategy from the devastation of the La Soufrière volcanic eruption in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) as part of a post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA). It represents a response to a formal request received by UNDP on May 25, 2021 from the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for technical support in the conduct of a PDNA. It is expected that the conclusions of the PDNA and the specific strategic interventions proposed therein will be used as the main model for the development of a detailed recovery program for the country as well as an instrument to facilitate access to technical resources and funding for reconstruction and rehabilitation. short, medium and long term efforts.

Following the initial request for support, on June 1, 2021, the government further indicated that Mr. Edmond Jackson, Director General of Finance and Planning, would be the government official for the PDNA and requested that the assessment be focuses on the following sectors:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing

  • Lodging

  • Tourism

  • Public infrastructure

  • Health

  • Education


  • Electricity

  • Construction and transport

The first planning meeting was convened with the government on June 7, 2021, where it was further agreed that the cross-cutting sectors of environment, livelihoods and social protection, gender and risk resilience disaster, as well as the macroeconomic impact of the volcanic eruption on the country, should also be assessed. Subsequently, detailed planning for the PDNA exercise took place during the period June 7-25, 2021, with the actual PDNA process being launched on June 29, 2021. It was decided to include a training program. PDNA methodological refresher training for all team members with special emphasis on participants from different SVG institutions.

This document therefore presents the purpose and methodological approach of the PDNA and highlights the devastating effects of the event on the social, productive, infrastructure and transversal sectors. It also highlights the impacts of the volcanic eruption on key macroeconomic variables of gross domestic product (GDP), balance of payments (BOP), fiscal sectors (budgets), inflation and employment. . The implications of the event on socio-economic and human development at the meso and micro levels are also examined, taking into account the impact on poverty (especially rural poverty), food and nutrition security, the objectives of sustainable development (SDGs) and on households. and personal income.

The document also identifies and prioritizes recovery needs, which are quantified according to the three time horizons (short, medium and long term). The general elements of the recovery strategy are formulated following the results-based model and are presented to include a vision statement, guiding principles and intervention strategies. The recovery strategy is based on the vision of “Rising from the ashes as a resilient and climate sensitive society that equitably stimulates human capacities, sustainable opportunities and a better quality of life for all” and is based on the following guiding principles :

  • Strengthen resilience and reduce risks, Promote green / blue economies and energy efficiency.

  • Ensure equity and accessibility and promote gender equality in decision-making, service delivery and recovery

  • Rebuilding people’s livelihoods

In the context of the above, the following strategic intervention line has been identified as the basis for the development of recovery initiatives:

  • Rethinking economic growth

  • Enable increased human and social development

  • Improve physical infrastructure, preserve the environment and build resilience to climate change.

The following five (5) major steps have been identified to provide the master plan to ensure an effective and efficient recovery process, namely:

  • Development of an action plan for recovery given the overlapping effects of the early effects of Covid-19 and the hurricane season.

  • Identification of the lack of resources to finance the recovery program.

  • Harmonization of the reconstruction process of the humanitarian response to recovery.

  • Improvement of the data collection and management system.

  • Capacity building for recovery


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