Dutch aid for Ecuador

The Dutch government is assisting those affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Ecuador last week. Emergency funding will be made available via the Red Cross for repairs to the water infrastructure and to provide shelter to those who have lost their homes. Food aid will also be provided.

‘Ecuador was hit by several heavy aftershocks a few days after the main earthquake, adding to the destruction and making the need for help even more acute,’ said Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. ‘1.2 million people have now been affected. International aid is essential.’

While last week’s earthquake caused particularly serious damage in the three western provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabi and Santo Domingo, tremors were felt as far away as the capital Quito, in central Ecuador.

Authorities say that at least 600 people have died and more than 12,000 have been injured. Buildings have collapsed, roads are impassable and in many areas energy supplies have been disrupted. ‘We now need to focus on getting emergency aid to devastated areas as soon as possible,’ Ms Ploumen added. ‘The essentials are already available in the region, and can be delivered quickly where they’re needed.’

The Netherlands is contributing €1.5 million in aid.