The joint efforts of government, the private sector and the general population have ensured that the Ecuadorian coastal region severely damaged by an earthquake last April 16, is recovering from the consequent destruction.

The joint efforts of government, the private sector and the general population have ensured that the Ecuadorian coastal region severely damaged by an earthquake last April 16, is recovering from the consequent destruction.One hundred days after the earthquake that left 671 dead and losses amounting to more than 3.3 billion (thousand million) dollars, an investment program worth 540 million dollars -- according to figures provided by Vice President Jorge Glass – has been implemented thus far.

Latest Victims Register estimates reveal 68 thousand families or 231 000 people were affected by the strongest earthquake the South American country has faced in years.

One of the most important and humane achievements to date is he reopening of schools for 55,000 (100%) children living in the provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas. These were the most affected by the natural phenomenon.

In order to guarantee classes in these regions, the government provided a fund of 50 million dollars to build 26 provisional educational centers that cater for all students.

Over 2 000 private businesses and companies had reopened by July 19, thanks to the granting of credits worth over 46 million dollars.

26 shelters providing meals, basic services and medical assistance to more than 9 thousand families whose homes were destroyed or badly damaged were fitted out by the National government.

Three months after the earthquake, the first of these shelters – which had housed 93 families – was closed.

51 families chose a settlement bonus; 39 the rental bonus (economic incentive provided by the State), and 3 repaired their own houses.

Finding a solution to the housing problem is a priority for the National Government.

It has an ambitious plan to complete 4 000 houses by next December and a total of 10 000 by the end of President Rafael Correa’s term on office next May.

In order to achieve this objective, the government is working on 16 resettlement projects: 11 in Manabí; 3 in Esmeraldas; 1 in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, and 1 in Babahoyo.

The recovery and reconstruction work is providing over 13 000 jobs collecting rubble, cleaning up the area and in the construction of new buildings; an important source of income for many victims.

The rehabilitation of the road infrastructure is another dream realized and already communications with all the areas affected by the earthquake are functional.

Improvements are tangible and Ecuador is standing upright again thanks to the joint work and the assistance of other governments and international organizations such as the UN, whose financial, humanitarian and technical aid has been a breath of fresh air in areas defined by damage.

However, a lot remains to be done. As the Vice President said, “Reconstruction is a long and complex road, something all Ecuadorians should not forget. The challenges are immense and it will take years to recover everything.”

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