Image taken with a mobile device shows Chinese rescuers building temporary housing for survivors in an affected area by the earthquake in Pedernales, Manabi Province, Ecuador, on April 22, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]
QUITO — China’s government and private sector have provided much-needed humanitarian aid and donations to post-earthquake Ecuador.
The Chinese government on April 21 handed over $2 million and 10 truck-fulls of aid to Ecuador to help the South American country’s recovery from a powerful 7.8-magnitude quake that devastated parts of the coast late April 16.
China’s ambassador to Ecuador, Wang Yulin, presented the aid to Ecuadorian Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long at a ceremony at the ministry’s headquarters in the capital Quito.
The trucks, loaded with supplies of food and water, and cots and tents for temporary shelters housing those left homeless, were dispatched on April 21 to the affected areas.
Included in the aid package was a mobile emergency-care facility to attend to the victims.
“On behalf of the people and government of Ecuador, we thank China for this contribution to our country,” said Long.
“China has been one of the countries that most quickly responded to the emergency in Ecuador,” Long added.
The Chinese resident community in Ecuador helped raise funds and collect supplies for the relief effort, Wang noted.
“China and Ecuador are friends and sister countries,” said Wang, adding “China is very willing to actively collaborate and participate in the future reconstruction of the areas destroyed.”
Like Ecuador, China is prone to earthquakes, said Wang. “In China we have had the same experience as Ecuador, we have felt what the Ecuadorians are feeling. At this difficult time, China and Ecuador are today more united than ever.”
Also on April 21, the Chamber of Commerce of Chinese Companies in Ecuador provided $138,000 in cash and humanitarian aid to the relief effort.
Chamber representative and vice president of the firm Andes Petroleum, Zhao Xinjun, presented Ecuadorian officials with the contribution.
“In the name of the Chamber of Commerce of Chinese Companies in Ecuador, we are here to show our support for the people in the areas that were hit and for the government of Ecuador,” Zhao said.
The chamber gathers 12 major Chinese firms, including Sinohydro, Huawei, Harbin Electric International and Gezhouba.
Zhao noted Chinese companies sprang into action immediately in the wake of the disaster, dispatching technicians, machinery and rescue teams to hard-hit coastal communities.
“Some (of the companies) helped reestablish transportation and communications,” said Zhao, “others donated urgent necessities, such as cots, mosquito nets, disinfectants, food and water.”
The chamber donated 11 tons of water, as well as lighting and communications gear, sheets, towels, pillows and blankets, and diapers.
Employees of chamber firms, meanwhile, helped distribute the aid to the affected communities.
The chamber also addressed a letter to Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, expressing its members’ support and solidarity in the face of the worst disaster to hit the country in nearly 70 years.
“In this crisis, Chinese companies in Ecuador join in the concern of the people and the government, and will accompany you in overcoming this difficulty,” said the letter signed by Zhang.
Chinese companies additionally offered to provide heavy machinery and personnel for the ongoing rescue efforts.
The death toll from the quake currently stands at 602, with 12,492 wounded, and 130 missing.