WASHINGTON, April 17, 2016 – The President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, issued the following statement after the earthquakes that struck Ecuador and Japan in recent days:
“We express our sympathy and solidarity with the people of Ecuador, following the powerful earthquake that struck the country on Saturday, killing more than 200 people and injuring hundreds more. The World Bank stands ready to support Ecuadorians in the recovery. We have been in close contact with authorities since Saturday night to coordinate our support expeditiously. An impact assessment team will arrive in Ecuador on Monday.
We also express our sympathy and solidarity with the people of Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan, following two earthquakes that struck over the past several days, killing more than 40 people and injuring many more. We stand ready to assist Japanese authorities in any way.
Our thoughts go to the families in both countries who lost loved ones in the separate earthquakes.”
Following the strong earthquake of 7.8 in the Richter scale that impacted Ecuador on Saturday, April 16, the World Bank indicated that its officials have held several conversations with national authorities, and those of some of the affected municipalities, with the goal of identifying needs and accelerating cooperation activities.
A team of risk management and damage evaluation specialists has already left for Ecuador with the objective of gathering as much information as possible in order to help the country effectively. Additionally, it has been determined that funds from the Ecuador Risk Mitigation and Emergency Recovery project, approved by the World Bank Board on March 16, may be channeled to respond to the infrastructure and service recovery and rehabilitation needs of those provinces most affected by the earthquake.
The Ecuador Risk Mitigation and Emergency Recovery project has US$150 million available and one of its objectives is to support the recovery of basic and productive services in case of natural disaster.
Moreover, the World Bank is analyzing its project portfolio in Ecuador, together with the government, in order to restructure some projects and thus respond more rapidly to the emergency.
The World Bank office in Ecuador is coordinating all activities with the United Nations Humanitarian Country Team, as well as various public ministries.
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