The United Nations praised the Ecuadorean government’s speedy and effective relief efforts after Saturday’s devastating earthquake, with U.N. officials visiting the coast Tuesday to coordinate the receipt of more supplies.
“The secretary general commends the Ecuadorean authorities for their leadership in the rescue effort and in providing relief to affected communities,” read a statement from Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson.
Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien visited the coast on Tuesday to meet with senior officials, emergency responders and humanitarian groups and assess damages.
“The government of Ecuador is leading the response, rescuing trapped people, distributing food and other relief supplies, and providing emergency shelter," he said.
The U.N. also deployed its Disaster and Assessment Coordination team, a mobile medical emergency team through the World Health Organization and tens of thousands of supplies through the Refugee Agency, UNHCR and the Children’s Fund, UNICEF.
Water purification tablets, tents, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, mosquito nets and food shipments are still coming into the country as responders are still lifting rubble and helping relocate some 40,000 who have lost their homes or been affected by the damage.
“This first delivery of food assistance will make a tremendous difference in the lives of people who are overcoming such hardship,” said WFP Country Representative Kyungnan Park. “WFP was ready to react swiftly to this emergency thanks to joint efforts with the Ecuadorian Government to prepare a response to the El Niño weather phenomenon, which is currently affecting the country.”