USAID/OFDA airlifts relief supplies to benefit 50,000 earthquake-affected people
U.S. military deploys mobile air traffic control tower to facilitate humanitarian operations
ERC Stephen O’Brien travels to Ecuador, announces $7 million in UN funding
On April 27, the Government of Ecuador (GoE) reported that the April 16 earthquake had resulted in 659 deaths and injured approximately 4,600 people. More than 500 deaths occurred in Manabí Province’s Manta, Pedernales, and Portoviejo cantons—Ecuador’s sub-provincial administrative divisions. The earthquake also damaged or destroyed an estimated 9,740 buildings, as well as electrical, telecommunications, and transportation infrastructure. Humanitarian actors, including USAID/OFDA disaster experts, are conducting damage assessments and identifying priority needs in earthquake-affected areas. The casualty and damage figures are expected to rise as assessments continue.
USAID/OFDA-procured emergency relief supplies—including 20,400 water containers, nearly 3,500 kitchen sets, 1,000 rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting, and five 10,000-liter water storage bladders—arrived in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito on April 24. The Ecuadorian Red Cross (CRE) is providing a warehouse to store the items—sufficient to meet the immediate needs of approximately 50,000 people—while USAID/OFDA staff in Ecuador coordinate with non-governmental organization (NGO) partners to transport and distribute the relief supplies to earthquake-affected populations.
On April 26, the U.S. military deployed a 12-foot mobile air traffic control tower and a five-person technical team from Robins Air Force Base in Georgia to the Eloy Alfaro International Airport located in Manta city, Manabí—the main logistical hub facilitating the distribution of inbound humanitarian commodities to northwestern Ecuador. The mobile tower—deployed to support Ecuadorian air traffic control operations after the airport’s permanent tower sustained damages during the earthquake—will augment the capacity of humanitarian actors to deliver relief items to affected areas.
On April 21, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) Stephen O’Brien announced $7 million in funding through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF)—a pooled humanitarian fund established and managed by the UN to enable timely humanitarian assistance, especially in the early days of an emergency—for humanitarian organizations to support the critical needs of earthquake-affected populations. ERC O’Brien made the announcement after traveling to Ecuador to assess the humanitarian situation and ongoing response efforts.