QUITO –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has sent a convoy with food assistance for some 8,000 people severely affected by the 7.8-earthquake that hit the coast of Ecuador, leaving more than 400 people dead and thousands more in desperate need of humanitarian aid.
At the request of the Government of Ecuador, WFP and authorities organized truckloads with enough food to feed 8,000 people for 15 days in the worst-hit areas. Emergency food assistance kits were ready to go as they formed part of disaster preparedness measures taken as the region braced itself for the impact of El Niño.
“This first delivery of food assistance will make a tremendous difference in the lives of people who are overcoming such hardship,” said WFP Representative in Ecuador, 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.”
The food assistance kits were designed months ago by WFP and the country’s Secretariat for Risk Management as part of the emergency preparations to plan the most effective type of assistance for people living in the coastal areas. The kits include quinoa, rice, pasta, tuna, sardines, oatmeal and lentils.
Additional food assistance will be delivered to 12,000 people and more than 1,000 hospital patients also affected by the earthquake. As more information about the extent of the damage and food needs becomes available, additional assistance will be provided at Government request.
WFP has also mobilized an emergency team to the quake-affected areas to assess the humanitarian and food security situation.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@example.org):
Alejandro Lopez-Chicheri, WFP Latin America and the Caribbean, Mob. +507 6671 5355
Gabriela Malo, WFP/Ecuador, Tel +593 22460330, Mob. +593 999714126
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel. +44 20 72409001, Mob. +44 7968 008474
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob. +1-646 525 9982