Oxfam responds to calls for help for 3.5 million people affected by Ecuador floods
The first 265,000 evacuated need water, foods and hygiene kits.
International agency Oxfam is sending a team to Ecuador to provide emergency assistance following flooding that has affected 3.5 million people and forced over quarter of a million people from their homes.
Strong rains in the last few days are causing serious floods in nine provinces of the country, with more than 3.5 million people affected and 265,000 evacuated from their homes. The floods, described as the most serious of the last decade, have prompted President Rafael Correa to declare a state of emergency in the country and the government has appealed for international support.
According to the Ecuadorian authorities, the most affected provinces are Guayas, Los Ríos, El Oro and Manabí. With the number of evacuees expected to grow, there is an urgent need for clean water, food and hygiene kits. Nearly 100,000 hectares of cultures of rice, banana tree, cacao, coffee, have been destroyed. The commercial activity in urban areas has also been affected.
Oxfam is working with the UN, the Ecuadorian Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies in Ecuador planning the aid effort to the affected communities which is due to start over the weekend.
Oxfam has been working in the affected provinces of Guayas and El Oro since 2004.