The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said Thursday that emergency food deliveries are underway in earthquake-devastated Ecuador. It’s just the beginning of a larger relief mission as the 7.8 magnitude quake has left many families with little or no supplies.
The WFP distributions started April 19 with the arrival of food kits to 8,000 people in the town of Portoviejo in Manabí province.
Good planning has helped the disaster response. WFP had disaster rations already prepared including quinoa, rice, pasta, tuna, sardines, oatmeal and lentils.
Kyungnan Park, the WFP Representative in Ecuador, explains, “WFP was ready to react swiftly to this emergency thanks to joint efforts with the Ecuadorian Government to prepare a response to the El Niño weather phenomenon, which is currently affecting the country.”
But the needs are massive and WFP is planning to feed at least 260,000 earthquake victims. Hospitals are reporting shortages. WFP is sending emergency rations to these and other locations at the request of the government.
WFP, the largest hunger relief organization, relies entirely on voluntary donations from governments, the public and the business sector.
WFP spokesperson Steve Taravella says PepsiCo Foundation just donated US $500,000 to the Ecuador relief effort. WFP is accepting donations for the emergency operation at its home page.
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