Aid Flows in as Chile Officially Seeks International Assistance

The U.N. said it will begin deploying aid to Chile after the country officially sought assistance to deal with the aftermath of the magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck Feb. 27, Associated Press reports. Chile made a formal request on March 1 and identified its most pressing needs as temporary bridges, field hospitals, electric generators, satellite phones, water purification systems, field kitchens, dialysis centers and damage assessment teams, U.N. humanitarian spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told AP.

Aid from the rest of the international community is beginning to trickle into Chile. China pledged on March 1 to provide USD1 million to support humanitarian relief operations in the country, China Daily reports. Japan also committed USD3 million worth of humanitarian aid and 30 million (USD336, 000) worth of emergency supplies to the country, Xinhua News reports The Asian country will also send to Chile a three-member medical team to assist in relief and recovery operations on the ground.

Meanwhile, medical supplies from Argentina have arrived in Chile, according to Xinhua News. The supplies include tent hospitals with water processing equipment, oxygen generators, satellite phones and medicines.

Before Chile made its formal appeal, the European Union already committed 3 million euros (USD4 million) in aid while multilateral organizations pledged to assist the country’s recovery. International aid organizations also readied response teams in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. The U.S., South Korea, Spain and several other countries promised to help if asked to.

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.