Press release

UK sends experts to support Ecuador earthquake recovery

Structural engineers and disaster management specialist to help save lives and assist in coordination of relief efforts.

UK Foreign Office staff
UK Foreign Office staff

UK engineers and a humanitarian advisor have arrived in Ecuador to help the country recover and rebuild following the devastating earthquake on Saturday 16 April.

The team of British experts form part of a package of support offered by the UK to the Ecuadorean authorities following the disaster, which has killed more than 650 people and forced more than 20,000 from their homes.

The team is made up of:

  • three structural engineers with seismic expertise who will help make buildings safe and help rebuilding; and
  • a disaster management expert who will work with the Ecuadorean authorities to identify needs and assist in the coordination of the overall relief effort.

The European Union’s humanitarian aid fund is contributing €1 million towards the relief efforts in Ecuador which will be distributed following an assessment on the ground by humanitarian officials. The UK’s share of this support amounts to £118,150, based on our existing contribution to the EU budget.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in Ecuador and our thoughts remain with all those affected.

The UK has a proud record of offering and providing assistance when natural disasters strike around the world, and we’ll do all we can for the people of Ecuador in their hour of need.

Minister of State for the Americas, Hugo Swire said:

I have been shocked and saddened to see the devastating events in Ecuador and my deepest sympathies are with all those affected.

The UK will help Ecuador however we can. We are fortunate to have world-leading disaster specialists. I am pleased that the Ecuadorean Government has accepted our offer to deploy our experts to support rescue and recovery efforts.

We will continue to carefully monitor the situation to see what further help the UK can provide.

The UK has a strong track-record of providing assistance and expertise to nations around the world in times of difficulty. This deployment follows almost a year after a major operation was launched to support Nepal after the earthquake disaster in that country.

Notes to Editors

  1. UN Humanitarian Relief Co-ordinator Stephen O’Brien has announced a US$7M contribution for relief to Ecuador from the UN/Donors Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). The CERF was established by the UN and leading donors to enable rapid emergency funding to be made available for immediate disaster relief. The UK is a founder contributor to the CERF, funding approximately 20.1% of it. Based on this, the UK’s contribution to relief in Ecuador through the CERF is around US$1.4M.
  2. The UK and other donors provide substantial core funding to the UN relief agencies, enabling them to respond to disasters around the world, including Ecuador.

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Published 25 April 2016