In addition to the ongoing search and rescue efforts, there is a great need for shelter, water, food and other forms of emergency aid, following the earthquake that hit Ecuador on 16 April.

‘The authorities in Ecuador need support in carrying out the relief efforts that are now underway. People are in need of shelter, medical assistance, clean water and food. We are giving priority to supporting the relief efforts of aid organisations we already cooperate with,’ Mr Brende said.

One of Norway’s partners on the ground is the Caritas network. In addition, the Norwegian Red Cross keeps a store of emergency aid items and water purification equipment in Panama, with funding provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and stands ready to send emergency supplies to the affected areas.

Norway already supports the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), with the precise aim of enabling them to respond rapidly to acute disasters.