British experts in Ecuador to help with earthquake relief efforts


A team of British experts has arrived in Ecuador to help the country recover following a devastating earthquake.

Engineers and a humanitarian advisor form part of a package of support offered by the UK to the Ecuadorean authorities following the disaster on Saturday April 16, which has killed more than 500 people and forced more than 20,000 from their homes.

The Department for International Development (DfID) said the team is made up of three structural engineers with seismic expertise who will help make buildings safe, and a disaster management expert who will work with the Ecuadorean authorities to assist in the coordination of the overall relief effort.

The European Union's humanitarian aid fund is contributing one million euro towards the relief efforts which will be distributed following an assessment on the ground by humanitarian officials.

The UK's share of this support amounts to £118,150, based on its existing contribution to the EU budget, DfID said.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: "We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in Ecuador and our thoughts remain with all those affected.

"The UK has a proud record of offering and providing assistance when natural disasters strike around the world, and we'll do all we can for the people of Ecuador in their hour of need."

Minister of State for the Americas, Hugo Swire, said: "I have been shocked and saddened to see the devastating events in Ecuador and my deepest sympathies are with all those affected.

"The UK will help Ecuador however we can. We are fortunate to have world-leading disaster specialists. I am pleased that the Ecuadorean Government has accepted our offer to deploy our experts to support reconstruction efforts."