STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE VINCENT WHEATLEY, MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES, LABOUR & IMMIGRATION
SEVENTH SITTING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY – THURSDAY, 15TH APRIL, 2021
HOSTING ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES CITIZENS
Mister Speaker, I am sure that we are all aware of the situation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the eruption of the Soufriere volcano. Mr. Speaker the Government and people of the Virgin Islands, stand ready to assist our brothers and sisters in whichever way possible.
Mister Speaker, as a Government we have been meeting and making plans on how to assist in various ways and our Premier has been in contact with Prime Minister Gonsalves and other Caribbean leaders as we make these plans.
Mr. Speaker the relationship between the BVI and St. Vincent and the Grenadines has deep roots and covers many years, Mr. Speaker it is a cherished relationship. Mr. Speaker, many persons living in the BVI are connected, either directly or indirectly with people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and have expressed interest in hosting them here in the BVI.
Mr. Speaker, our first response to this crisis, is to provide much needed aid to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; that is why Mr. Speaker; we have partnered with the many NGOs and EZ Shipping to send a barge load of supplies to St. Vincent and the Grenadines next week.
Mr. Speaker, as Minister for Immigration, I have charged the Department to come up with a policy and logistics that will allow us to host persons here in the BVI for a period of time, until the situation stabilizes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Mr. Speaker, once completed and approved, it will be communicated to the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the wider public here in the BVI. Mr. Speaker, we will be our brother’s keeper, as we know first-hand what it is like to be devastated and be at the mercy of others.
Mr. Speaker, we will continue to lift up the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in our prayers as they go through this difficult period and we want them to know that we too are holding their hands.
I thank you Mister Speaker.