OECS leaders this week emphasized that there is no official GoFundMe account authorised by the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for the La Soufrière relief effort.
The leaders held a virtual emergency meeting on Monday.
An end of conference Communiqué said the leaders are urging people willing to provide help to not fall prey to ‘arbitrary accounts’ being set up by individuals claiming to support the Vincentian relief efforts.
“People who were willing to donate were asked to be vigilant and thoroughly vet the entity to which they intended to donate,” the Communiqué said.
It disclosed that the leaders agreed that the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is in the process of establishing an official web platform for the relief effort.
The platform will provide information in real-time on the emerging needs and updates when they are met.
Persons willing to contribute to the efforts, especially organizations in the Diaspora, are strongly encouraged to give cash donations and/or to consolidate any materials being sent to avoid congestion at the ports of entry, according to the Communiqué.
The OECS Authority noted that this was a major lesson from the experience of Dominica following Hurricane Maria.
At the end of the conference, Communiqué said minimising congestion of small packages at the ports of entry is essential to the smooth logistics of the recovery effort.