WFP to assist families affected by volcano eruption in Ecuador

WFP will distribute food rations among 25,000 people in the Andean region of Ecuador after the Tungurahua volcano –130 km south of the capital – erupted on 16 August leaving more than 100,000 people affected in six provinces.

WFP will distribute food rations among 25,000 people in the Andean region of Ecuador after the Tungurahua volcano –130 km south of the capital – erupted on 16 August leaving more than 100,000 people affected in six provinces.

The food assistance provided by WFP will allow people to use their remaining resources to help them rehabilitate their lives and rebuild their communities

Helmut Rauch, WFP Ecuador Representative

On 18 August, the Government of Ecuador called for international assistance to meet the immediate needs of the affected population.

Although the National Geophysical Institute of Ecuador reported a decrease in volcanic activity, the risk of further eruptions remains.

This eruption produced massive clouds of ash approximately 8,000 metres high, as well as gas, lava and pyroclastic flows.

Ash clouds moved to surrounding areas to a distance of 550 km, causing extensive damage, killing five people, causing severe burns to 50 people and other injuries to a further 40.

Evacuation

An assessment carried out by the Government and the United Nations estimated that 25,000 people who were evacuated to temporary shelters or went to stay with relatives or friends need further food assistance following the loss of houses, crops and livestock, after depletion of rations provided by the Government.

People living in the volcano area are among the poorest in Ecuador.

“The food assistance provided by WFP will allow people to use their remaining resources to help them rehabilitate their lives and rebuild their communities”, said Helmut Rauch, WFP Ecuador Representative.

A total of 282 metric tons of food will be distributed among families located in temporary shelters and in affected villages in the provinces of Tungurahua, Chimborazo and Bolivar over the next three months, in close collaboration with the Civil Defence, Red Cross, the Ministry of Social Welfare, the Ministry of Agriculture and international NGOs.