El Niño Phenomenon in Ecuador: Alerta Naranja
“Ecuador Moves from a Stage of Prevention to One of Preparation,” Guillermo Lasso.
The National Emergency Operations Committee convened in Quito and raised the alert level from yellow to orange in response to the presence of the El Niño phenomenon in Ecuador. This transition signifies a shift from the preventive phase to the preparatory phase in anticipation of increased rainfall, which is expected to commence in October and reach its peak during the first quarter of 2024, as reported by Ecuavisa.
It’s important to clarify that the change to an orange alert does not imply immediate rainfall in Ecuador. Rather, it signifies the imminent arrival of the El Niño phenomenon in Ecuador.
President Lasso informed Ecuadorians of his plan to prepare for El Niño:
“Dear Ecuadorians: Today, we have changed from yellow alert to orange, in relation to the arrival of the El Niño Phenomenon. This means that Ecuador moves from a stage of prevention to one of preparation. All the plans designed must be implemented and, to do so, we have obtained multilateral financing for more than 500 million dollars, of which:
- The MTOP, @ObrasPublicasEc, will use 150 million to address the road emergency, buy heavy machinery, maintain the existing one, and acquire 1,200 meters of provisional bridges.
- Additionally, with public banking we have enabled access to the following resources:
- Development Bank, @BDEcuadorBP: 300 million dollars to finance GAD projects and works in 2023, prioritizing matters related to risk prevention and mitigation.
- CONAFIPS, @CONAFIPS: 124 million dollars for productive loans to 17 provinces with the highest risk of being affected.
- BanEcuador, @BanEcuadorBP: flexibility in credit conditions and access to an amount of up to $150,000 for fixed assets and working capital.
- CFN, @CFN_ECUADOR: will make deadline extensions and new partial or total grace periods for productive sectors, after analysis and evaluation of the damages,” Lasso announced on Twitter.
Hoy, hemos cambiado de alerta amarilla a naranja, en relación a la llegada del Fenómeno El Niño. Esto significa que el Ecuador pasa de una etapa de prevención a una de preparación. Todos los planes diseñados se tienen que implementar y, para ello, hemos… pic.twitter.com/yuUDxEiJHk
— Guillermo Lasso (@LassoGuillermo) September 18, 2023
According to the Risk Management Secretariat,
“Approximately 2.2 million individuals could be impacted by the El Niño phenomenon, with 1.5 million at risk of flooding. Consequences are foreseen in 143 municipalities across 18 provinces along the coast and Sierra regions,” Risk Management Secretariat of Ecuador.
The six Amazonian provinces are anticipated to remain unaffected. The projection suggests that 47,000 families will require humanitarian aid and temporary shelter.
“The response needs to encompass mitigation efforts, not just a change in alert status. We must take action promptly,” stated Patricio Maldonado, President of the Association of Municipalities.
“Fenómeno de El Niño: 47, 000 families are anticipated to require assistance and shelter in Ecuador.”
With the elevation to an orange alert, the government will expedite the procurement processes for emergency projects, partly funded by the United States. President Guillermo Lasso announced that the government secured over $500 million in financing from multilateral organizations.
Out of this sum, $150 million will be allocated to the Ministry of Transportation and Public Works for road network improvements, heavy machinery acquisition, and temporary bridge construction. Additionally, the Executive branch will extend credit to local governments, prefectures, and mayors for preventive initiatives.
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