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European Commission - Press release

EU increases humanitarian support to Ecuador by €4 million following deadly earthquake

Brussels, 26 May 2016

The EU has today released € 4 million in humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable victims of the earthquake which struck Ecuador on 16th April 2016.

The funding comes on top of an initial € 1 million released only 36 hours after the disaster last month, and the mobilisation of expert teams via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism which which were dispatched to crisis zones.

"The EU is fully committed to continue helping the people of Ecuador recovering from the devastating earthquake. This additional funding will help address immediate humanitarian needs and will further enhance resilience and disaster preparedness in Ecuador, a country vulnerable to seismic hazards," said Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management.

The aid will be delivered through EU's humanitarian partners in the country and will focus on the provision of emergency shelter to thousands of Ecuadorians who lost their homes, particularly in suburban and rural areas, where access can be challenging. The support also aims to help restore the livelihoods of the many who lost their means of subsistence; ensuring that those affected - particularly children - are afforded protection and health care, including psychosocial support; and delivering clean, safe water as well as sanitation kits and to prevent water-borne diseases, particularly likely in the coastal provinces during the upcoming rain season.

Background

The European Commission deployed its humanitarian experts to the affected area in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake to assess emergency needs, and released € 1 million to provide emergency shelters, food, water, sanitation and hygiene to the most vulnerable, as well as humanitarian assessment and coordination.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated upon request of Ecuadorian authorities and the United Nations, providing urban search and rescue teams, damage assessment expertise, water and blankets. Assistance was generously offered through the Mechanism by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and coordinated by the European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which struck Ecuador on 16th April 2016, was the most powerful since 1979. It cost 661 lives and affected close to 2 million people, many of whom remain in need of emergency relief. The earthquake has been followed by hundreds of replicas, including strong 6.7 and 6.8 -magnitude earthquakes in the coastal province of Esmeraldas on 18 May 2016, which further damaged infrastructure. Ecuador sits on the so-called "Ring of Fire" - an arc of high seismic activity that extends around the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

IP/16/1913

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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