France sends support after La Soufrière eruption

France has deployed an emergency humanitarian operation to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in response to the needs expressed by the local authorities following the eruption of the La Soufrière volcano, which required the evacuation of approximately 20,000 people.

Coordinated by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and supported by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, this humanitarian operation was carried out from Guadeloupe and Martinique, in conjunction with the Antilles Defence and Security Zone.

On 14 April, the surveillance frigate Ventôse of the armed forces in the French West Indies transported civil security experts from Martinique to support the local authorities in their reconnaissance and assessment missions, as well as emergency aid consisting of materials to combat the ash fallout, stocks of protective equipment and 75 tonnes of drinking water. This operation was carried out with the support of the local branch of the French Red Cross (PIRAC), the Martinique hospital workers’ union, the local authority of Martinique and the company GBH through its subsidiary Carrefour.

As part of a second rotation of the frigate, on April 22, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs donated blankets, jerry cans, tents and hygiene kits from the humanitarian stock of the crisis and support centre set up in Guadeloupe, in order to meet the needs expressed by the authorities of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in terms of emergency shelters. On site, this aid will go in particular to the Red Cross of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to meet the essential needs of the populations affected by the eruption.

This solidarity operation enabled a rapid and coordinated response from "Team France" in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, combining the resources and vectors of the State (Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Armed Forces, Ministry of the Interior), the local authorities of Guadeloupe and Martinique, associations and private partners. It was supported by the European Union through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM).

Last updated on: 23 April 2021