Despite the attempts of the government of Ecuador, foreign countries, and international agencies to eliminate threatening consequences of the disaster, this republic on the territory of South Africa continues to recover from shock caused by the terrible earthquake. The current paper aims to shed light on the main consequences of the disaster in Ecuador and reaction as well as active participation of international communities in combating negative environmental, ecological, and economic impacts of the natural disaster. In addition, much attention will be paid to the response of the country and international agencies to this devastating disaster in order to review and assess the ways and strategies used by foreign countries to give the chance to Ecuador to fund earthquake recovery.
Generally speaking, I have made a decision to choose this topic because it is not only timely and important, but also sensitive and painful as statistics proves that the death toll exceeds 600 individuals. Moreover, I investigate this topic because it gives the chance to explore effective behavior of the government of this country, outside nations, and numerous international agencies in addressing this critical issue and developing efficient recovery tactics and strategies that will give the chance to Ecuador to recover from a severe earthquake that resulted in the collapse of many provinces in this country that were located in the coastal region. Although this topic is personally interesting and fascinating, I have chosen it to describe and evaluate the consequences of the disaster and how countries cope with this devastating natural catastrophe in order to identify whether Ecuador is fighting the problem on its own or not.
Statistics proves that the death toll caused by the disaster exceeds 600 individuals. Moreover, the number of injured victims who stay in hospitals is equal to more than 7 thousand persons. Taking into consideration the information concerning the disastrous consequences of the unforeseen natural disaster in Ecuador published in Daily Mail, one of the most famous British newspapers, Rafael Correa who holds the post of the president of Ecuador, states that the government of the country is forced to increase taxes in order to accelerate reconstruction efforts and promote rebuilding of earthquake-damaged buildings in coastal areas. According to the information provided in the president’s interview, taxes on millionaires as well as medium and large businesses will be considerably increased in order to contribute to the effectiveness and speed of reconstruction efforts initiated by the government of the country.
Therefore, the government of Ecuador is forced to sell significant percentage of state assets in order to provide assistance to people who suffered from the devastating consequences of the disaster. The president of Ecuador assures that the government of this “victimized” country has developed numerous economic and environmental emergency measures in order to give the chance to the country and its citizens to rebuild and continue a normal living. Appearing at one of a news conference that took place in Quito, the head of the country stressed the country will face a significant increase in taxes that would affect sales of bonds. In addition, the government of Ecuador will impose taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic as well as sugary drinks in order to boost the processes of recovery from the disaster. Finally, the president of Ecuador claims that although it is almost impossible to imagine and adequately assess the magnitude of the tragedy that happened to the citizens of this country, well-developed tax reform, development of several additional short-term taxes, and assistance of international communities will give the chance to fund multibillion-dollar reconstruction processes of houses, roads, and many other buildings that were completely destroyed by the destructive catastrophe.
However, it is important to stress that many foreign counties have immediately responded to the deadly consequences of the disaster that happened in Ecuador and offered effective material and financial assistance. For instance, Rafael de Prado who is responsible for emergency services and works for Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation assures that the government of Spain will provide assistance to Ecuador to give the chance to this “traumatized” country to secure its citizens who suffer from insufficient amounts of clean water resources and poor sanitation. Several Spanish planes were loaded with significant supplies of goods, including tents, high-quality electrical generators, and, finally, several tons of hygiene products which were immediately delivered to the earthquake zone in Ecuador to provide aid to citizens of this country, prevent the development and proliferation of threatening diseases, and prevent other catastrophic consequences.
It is important to stress that Pope Francis has sent several letters of encouragement to the government of the country, its president, and citizens with the purpose to pay attention to the words of remembrance for hundreds of innocent victims killed by the natural disaster and to express to all people in Ecuador the closeness and endless prayers in the times of hardship and grief.
In addition, the government of Cuba stated that this devastating earthquake on the territory of Ecuador took lives of several doctors from Cuba and, that is why, the primary responsibility of this country is to express altruism as well as solidarity, and assist the leadership of Ecuador in combating the consequences of the disaster. The Ministry of Public Health in Cuba stated that he has already sent and will encourage other professionals in the field of health care to visit this country in order to provide effective assistance and high-quality health care services to its injured citizens and prevent the spread of threatening diseases caused by the earthquake.
Taking into account the information presented in CNN that holds one of the leading positions in delivery of online news and information, the European Union provides generous humanitarian, governmental, and financial support to Ecuador. On May 26, the European Union released humanitarian aid to people living in Ecuador that exceeds four million euro in order to ensure an opportunity to vulnerable victims of the natural disaster to recover from threatening impacts of the earthquake, meet basic humanitarian need of people, promote resilience as well as disaster preparedness of the territory of Ecuador because this country is classified as vulnerable to threatening seismic hazards that put at risks lives of dozens of innocent people, damage infrastructure, kill animals, and result in irreversible environmental and economic impacts that slow down the growth and development of the country.
Humanitarian aid delivered by the European Union and its partners mainly concentrates on effective provision of emergency shelters to thousands of people on the territory of Ecuador who were severely affected by the disaster. Much attention is also paid to the affected citizens of Ecuador who reside in suburban as well as rural areas, and suffer from poor access to sanitation and insufficient amounts of clean water resources. Moreover, the European Union assures that it will pay attention not only to material as well as financial assistance, but also to professional psychological and emotional support that will ensure a unique opportunity to restore livelihoods of thousands of innocent victims of the deadly disaster who lost their family members, relatives, friends, material possessions and other vitally important means of subsistence.
In addition, the European Union encourages other countries to focus on the delivery of afforded protection as well as high-quality health care services to children because thousands of children in Ecuador feel the need in professional psychological support, efficient sanitation kits that will give the chance to prevent the development of numerous threatening water-borne diseases. It is important to emphasize that the EU Civil Protection Mechanisms were developed and activated upon the immediate request of the government agencies of Ecuador who adequately and objectively assessed the emergency needs and asked for immediate intervention and assistance of outside countries. In addition, effective and generous material assistance and financial support was offered by such countries as Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Moreover, such nations as Sweden, the UK, and the Netherlands also actively participated in immediate mobilization of expert teams who were immediately dispatched to numerous crisis zones in Ecuador, especially several coastal provinces. These groups of emergency professionals conduct effective rescue operations, provide emergency shelters, and meet other important humanitarian needs of people.
Many counties used their military powers and sent them to Ecuador in order to find bodies of victims and lucky survivors. According to the claims of Ricardo Patino who holds the position of the Defense Minister, the government of Ecuador is thankful for active participation of Latin America because this country sent numerous professional rescue teams who accelerated the speed of rescue operations and gave the chance to save lives of dozens of Ecuadorians on the hardest-hit territories of the country. Despite the government of Ecuador deployed more than 10, 000 soldiers and approximately 4, 600 police officers, this number of rescuers was insufficient to find survivors and bodies of dead people. Because of this reasons, assistance of foreign countries and international community was of paramount importance. Barack Obama who had an opportunity to discuss the response emergency plans with the president of Ecuador claimed that the USA will provide financial assistance that is equal to $100,000 as well as a group of disaster professionals who will provide an emergency relief to citizens of this country and will deliver supplies, including food and water resources, to meet the basic needs of people who were affected by the disaster.
Thus, after having shed light on the main threatening consequences of the disaster that killed hundreds of people and left thousands without a roof over their heads, and described active participation of foreign nations in eliminating the damaging impacts of the terrible natural catastrophe, it is possible to come to conclusions that numerous Western, European, Asian, and African counties provided substantial financial and material assistance to Ecuador. In addition, numerous professional support teams were provided by foreign countries with the purpose to provide professional psychological and emotional support that will give the chance to Ecuadorians to recover and start over a new leaf. It is important to summarize that the role of effective international support and financial assistance is fundamental because it gives the chance to eliminate the consequences of the natural disaster, develop effective tactics and strategies to assist this “seismic-sensitive” country in coping with similar challenges in the future, provide emotional and psychological support to every victim affected by the earthquake, prevent the development of threatening diseases, and, finally, contribute to economic recovery of the country.