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Current Report on U.S. Assistance to Ecuador Following April 16 

Humanitarian and technical assistance to the Ecuadorian people is a priority for the U.S. Mission to Ecuador.  This support will continue throughout the second phase of reconstruction.

To date, the United States has provided more than $2.6 million in humanitarian assistance to help the people of Ecuador. This includes more than 80 tons of supplies that USAID has provided, which will address the urgent humanitarian needs of up to 50,000 people affected by the earthquake. 

USAID, through the World Food Program, has supported emergency operations to provide locally procured in-kind food assistance to families in hard-hit Pedernales, Manta, and Esmeraldas.  They also sent a team of experts in disaster recovery who are evaluating damage, identifying priority humanitarian needs, and providing information analysis on damage to buildings and infrastructure. 

The United States has also supported Ecuadorian efforts to build logistical capacity in the hardest-hit areas, with work taking place under the Ecuadorian Director General of Civil Aviation.  This work will amplify aerial operations at the Eloy Alfaro International Airport in Manta. 

Alumni from various U.S. government-funded programs have also been working on relief efforts across Ecuador. The Youth Ambassadors (YA) network, a group of SUSI (Study of the U.S. Institute) and a group of IVLP (International Visitors Leadership Program) alumni, formed brigades to collect donations in their respective areas and delivered them to the Ecuadorian Red Cross, organized groups to provide psychological support for children in the most affected areas and created a commission force of professionals from various sectors to work on the economic recovery of the cities and towns affected by the earthquake .

Recently, Ambassador Chapman said that “the damage caused by this earthquake is vast and the needs are great, but we are seeing first-hand distribution of food and water and the hard-working spirit of Ecuadorians wanting to recover their cities.  We will continue working with the Government of Ecuador and with our private sector and NGOs that have been actively engaged.” 

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USA sends mobile tower for air traffic control in Manta

In close coordination with the authorities of the Ecuadorian government, the United States Department of Defense and the Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) delivered today a mobile tower for the air traffic control (ATC) of Eloy Alfaro International Airport in Manta. The provisional tower and four experts arrive this afternoon on a flight from the US airbase Warner Robbins.

Manta’s airport is the logistical center for aircrafts with relief supplies and due to the damage to the original control tower, air operations have been suffering restrictions. At the request of the Ecuadorian authorities, the Government of the United States is supporting efforts to recover the operational capacity of the airport.

The mobile tower for air traffic control is designed to quickly set up services in adverse conditions and to support aircraft movements in and out of the airfield. The mobile control system provides portable radio communications, and modular and air traffic services.

Last week the U.S. sent in a team of experts from the United States Air Force to assess damages to airport facilities and to contribute to infrastructure repair efforts. This cooperation is intended to work temporarily with the rehabilitation of aeronautical operations and to expand the channel of humanitarian aid to the most affected areas of the coast.

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Response of the United States Government to the humanitarian emergency in Ecuador

Due to close cooperation with the Ecuadorian government, an aircraft arrived today in Quito, bringing in emergency humanitarian relief managed by the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Abroad(OFDA) of USAID. More than 80 tons of emergency supplies were delivered directly to the Ecuadorian Red Cross.

The technical team sent by USAID identified the urgent needs of the affected population and in response the shipment included the following:

  • 1000 rolls of heavy plastic to help build shelters for 50,000 people
  • 20,400 water containers
  • 3,480 sets of kitchen utensils
  • 5 large tanks for drinking water and distribution units that will provide water to hundreds of people

In addition, USAID has provided $740,000 so far in humanitarian aid for the affected population and has been working with local partners on the ground to bring safe water to victims, to improve sanitation by providing hygiene kits, and to carry emergency supplies to affected communities.

The U.S. government is also supporting the World Food Programme, which is providing food stamps to 25,000 people in the most affected areas of Pedernales, Manta, and Esmeraldas.

The USAID team of technicians who arrived immediately after the earthquake consists of 28 experts who continue to assess the damage, to identify priority humanitarian needs, and to provide information and analysis of the situation on the ground.

Since April 16, the government of the United States has been committed to supporting the search and rescue efforts of victims and has supported the actions of the Ecuadorian government in everything within its power. The arrival of these emergency supplies are a firm example of this commitment.

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Ambassador Todd Chapman Presents Credentials to Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas

On April 14, Ambassador Todd Chapman presented his credentials to Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas in a morning ceremony at Palacio de Carondolet.  The formal act took place in the Presidents’ Room. 

After the credentialing ceremony concluded, the Ambassador issued the following statement:

I am delighted to have this opportunity to meet with Vice President Glas and to express the U.S. government’s sincere interest in advancing the deep, historic relationship between the United States and Ecuador.

Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to meet with Ecuadorians across many sectors of society and to begin to travel across Ecuador.  As I have immersed myself in this exciting task, I have witnessed profound opportunities to work together and broaden our bilateral partnership.  I see opportunities to unlock greater prosperity in both countries by building upon our tremendously important commercial and economic relationship; opportunities to create greater academic and professional opportunities for youth through education and exchanges; opportunities to strengthen the rich people-to-people ties that connect our two nations through ever-increasing two-way travel, tourism, and cultural programs that reinforce our shared values; and opportunities to construct more safer, more vibrant communities through our deep security cooperation.

I am committed to paving this path forward through mutual respect and equal partnership, and I look forward to working hand-in-hand with the Ecuadorian government and people to chart this important course forward on our many issues of common interest.

Ambassador Chapman arrived in Ecuador on January 29, 2016.  His complete bio.

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Under Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller Reinforces U.S.-Ecuador Partnership during Visit to Quito

On April 13, the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller visited Quito for a series of events and activities that reinforced the U.S.-Ecuador bilateral partnership.

During a speech on nuclear security and nonproliferation at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, the Under Secretary emphasized the importance of international cooperation to combat nuclear terrorism and recognized Ecuador’s leadership in this area.  She stated, “Ecuador plays an important part in [supporting multilateral] efforts on nuclear security, for example, banning nuclear explosive testing or banning nuclear weapons in massive areas of the world.”  The Under Secretary congratulated Ecuador for working closely with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization to install two International Monitoring System stations in the Galapagos Islands.   Both stations will be important to monitor and protect against illicit nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean and South American regions.

During a meeting with Ecuadorian Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Fernando Yépez and other senior Ecuadorian officials, Under Secretary Gottemoeller reiterated the U.S. government’s commitment to advancing a broad, positive bilateral agenda with Ecuador.  The Under Secretary and Acting Foreign Minister discussed cooperation on a broad range of security issues and underscored the United States and Ecuador’s common vision for a world without nuclear weapons. 

Under Secretary Gottemoeller is the highest level U.S. government official to visit since 2010, and her visit to Ecuador is part of a regional trip to South America that also includes stops in Colombia, Argentina, and Brazil.

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Release of U.S. Department of State 2015 Human Rights Reports

On April 13, the U.S. Department of State published the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices -- the Human Rights Reports -- which describe the status of internationally recognized human rights in countries around the world, including those rights reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  You can read the full reports at www.state.gov or www.humanrights.gov.

The annual Human Rights Reports are mandated by the U.S. Congress.  The Department of State prepared these reports using information from a wide variety of sources, including foreign government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, and published reports.  The guiding principle was that all information be reported objectively, thoroughly, and fairly.

The 2015 Human Rights Report for Ecuador can be found here: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?year=2015&dlid=253011.  The report documents areas of concern on human rights as well as areas of progress over the past year. 

Recognizing that defending and advancing human rights are challenges for all countries, including our own, the U.S. government looks for ways to engage constructively on human rights issues with host governments, civil society, and many other actors in Ecuador and around the world.

“Respecting human rights isn’t just a moral obligation, it is an opportunity to harness the full energy of a country’s population in building a cohesive and prosperity society,” said Secretary of State John Kerry in his remarks presenting the 2015 Human Rights Reports.  “The norms referred to in this report are universal norms… and in the arena of human rights, every government has the ability to improve, including the United States.”

Human rights are one important aspect of the rich bilateral relationship that the United States and Ecuador share.  Through our continuing cooperation on security, education, trade, health, and other areas, we seek to partner to create a safer, more inclusive, and prosperous future with greater opportunities for all of our citizens. 

Síganos

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