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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: La Soufrière Volcanic Eruption - Post Disaster Needs Assessment (August 2021)

Saint-Vincent et les Grenadines
Govt. Saint Vincent and Grenadines
Date de publication
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1. Introduction

This document presents the background, context, effects, impact, recovery needs and recovery strategy of the devastation of the La Soufrière Volcanic Eruption on St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) within the context of a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). It represents a response to a formal request that was received by UNDP on the 25th of May 2021 from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for technical support in conducting a PDNA. It is anticipated that the findings of the PDNA and the specific strategic interventions proposed therein will be utilized as the main blueprint for developing a detailed recovery programme for the country as well as an instrument for facilitating access to technical and financial resources for the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts over the short, medium to long term.

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

  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

  • Housing

  • Tourism

  • Public Infrastructure

  • Health

  • Education

  • WASH

  • Electricity

  • Construction and Transport

The first planning meeting was convened with the government on the 7th of June 2021 where it was further agreed that the cross-cutting sectors of Environment, Livelihoods and Social Protection, Gender and Disaster Risk Resilience, as well as the macroeconomic impact of the volcanic eruption on the country, should also be assessed. Subsequently, the detailed planning of the PDNA exercise occurred during the period 7th to 25th of June 2021, with the initiation of the actual PDNA process on the 29th of June 2021. A decision was taken to include a PDNA Methodological Refresher Training Programme for all the team members with a particular focus on participants from the various institutions in SVG.

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 crosscutting sectors. It also highlights the impacts of volcanic eruption on the key macroeconomic variables of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the balance of payment (BOP), fiscal sectors (budgets), inflation and employment. The implications of the event on the socioeconomic and human development at the meso and micro levels are also examined, with considerations given to the impact on poverty (particularly rural poverty), food and nutrition security, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on households and personal income.

The document also identifies and prioritizes the recovery needs, which are quantified by the three time horizons (short, medium and long terms). The broad elements of the recovery strategy are formulated by following the Results-Based model and are presented to include a Vision Statement, Guiding Principles and Intervention Strategies. The recovery strategy is built on the Vision of “Rising out of the ashes as a resilient, climateresponsive society that equitably stimulates human capabilities, sustainable opportunities and an improved quality of life for all” and is based on the following guiding principles:

  • Build 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

  • Rebuild people’s livelihoods

Within the context of the above, the following Strategic Line of Interventions were identified as the basis for the development of the Recovery Initiatives:

  • Re-engineering economic growth

  • Enabling increased Human and Social Development

  • Improving Physical Infrastructure, Preserving the Environment and Building Resilience to Climate Change.

Five (5) broad next steps have been identified to provide the blueprint for ensuring an efficient and effective recovery process, namely:

  • Development of an actionable plan for recovery considering the overlapping effects of ongoing Covid-19 and hurricane season early effects.

  • Identification of resources gap for funding for the recovery programme.

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

  • Improvement of data collection and management system.

  • Capacity strengthening for recovery