NEW YORK/PANAMA CITY/QUITO/GENEVA/HONG KONG, 22 April 2016 – A first airlift of 86 metric tons of UNICEF relief items landed in Quito, Ecuador, last night, as the number of children affected by the earthquake reached 250,000.
“We need to get these supplies to children and we need to do this quickly,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador. “The longer children go without shelter, safe water and protection from disease, the higher the risks to their health and well-being.”
The airlift includes 10,000 fleece blankets, 300 plastic tarps, over 100 large tents, 4,000 insecticide treated bednets, 250,000 Vitamin A capsules and kits for the treatment of diarrhoea.
As part of a UN appeal for $72 million, UNICEF and its humanitarian partners will need $23 million to provide for the needs of 250,000 children over the next three months. A significant portion of this amount – $14 million – will help provide water, sanitation and hygiene in temporary shelters, health centres, learning spaces and in communities. The remaining funds will cover education, protection and health needs.
Over 1,100 building have been destroyed and 720,000 people need humanitarian assistance. More than 25,000 people are currently living in shelters.
Immediately after the earthquake struck, UNICEF sent in water purification tablets, mosquito nets and tarps.