Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien, Calls On Uk Government To ‘Step Up And Do The Right Thing’ For Volcano-ravaged St. Vincent
Digicel Chairman, Denis O’Brien is calling on the United Kingdom to “step up and do the right thing” for volcano-ravaged St Vincent and the Grenadines.
In a statement issued on Monday, April 19, he said the ongoing activity at the La Soufriere Volcano has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, causing the mass displacement of over 30,000 people, food insecurity and a potential public health emergency.
The Digicel chairman said: “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 United Kingdom pledged £200,000 to St Vincent relief efforts through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).
O’Brien described the UK’s donation as “pitiful” and said it “is a slap in the face of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who as members of the Commonwealth, find themselves in a desperate situation”.
The Digicel chairman further stated: “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.”
Digicel has donated US$500-thousand worth of much-needed relief items to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
In a previous statement, Digicel Chairman Denis O’Brien said: “With our priorities being helping to keep people safe and keeping them connected, it’s at times like these that our natural instinct is to want to do everything we can to help.