For many years, St. Vincent had an exclusivity treaty with the European Union for the export of bananas from St. Vincent. A few years back, that treaty was canceled, leaving St. Vincent with virtually no market for their primary export. This was a terrible crush to the island's economy, so the government began to open the island to tourism and to develop that industry to try to provide jobs and revenue for the people of the island. However, as the people are waiting for the tourism industry to grow and make a strong positive impact on the country, many of them are without jobs: the unemployment rate is at about 23% under "normal circumstances."

 

     On December 25, 2013, a large storm ripped across the islands of St. Vincent and St. Lucia, wreaking terrible damage to both islands. On St. Vincent, houses were severely damaged from flooding, homes were washed away or destroyed by mud slides, roads and bridges were washed out, and people lost their lives as they were buried in the mud or washed out to sea. The poor became poorer; the hungry became hungrier still, and with few social services and limited access to the services that are available, the situation in St. Vincent has been dire.

 

     The government is helping with reconstruction, but people continue to be in great need. We must increase our efforts to help the needy children in St. Vincent!!!