September 22, 2020.- Since the activity of Sangay volcano have being increasing from early hours of September 20, the Ecuadorian Red Cross has activated the Early Action Protocol (EAP) with emergency funds from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which will allow it to immediately assist 1,000 families in rural communities that are being most affected.
“The first actions have been for our volunteers in Chimborazo, Bolívar and Guayas to participate in the local Emergency Operations Committees. From the Provincial Branches, teams of volunteers were activated for damage assessment and needs analysis. In Bolivar, one of the most affected provinces, supplies such as masks were delivered, “says Roger Zambrano, National Coordinator of Risk Management and Emergency and Disaster Response of the Ecuadorian Red Cross.
Due to the ash deposit threshold, the Ecuadorian Red Cross will deliver a thousand family health kits, which consist of N95 masks and eye protection glasses for adults and children, and one thousand animal protection kits, consisting of plastic tarps and tools so that communities can protect their animals and / or their crops. Also, the Cash Transfer Program will be activated through the delivery of IFRC debit cards.
Since 2019, the EAP allows the Ecuadorian Red Cross to access funds to be prepared and pre-positioned for an event of this nature and to be able to take early actions immediately. The objective is to establish adequate early actions, using volcanic ash dispersion and deposition forecasts, which allow actions to be taken to protect the most vulnerable families and their livelihoods in the areas most potentially affected by volcanic ash.
With this type of intervention, the aim is to better understand the behavior of disaster risks, prevent their impacts if possible, and reduce suffering and human losses. “We cannot prevent the occurrence of natural hazards, but we can use the information available to anticipate their consequences whenever possible,” adds Ines Brill, head of the IFRC Delegation for Andean Countries. “Early action and effective preparedness can save people and their livelihoods.”