Quito 26 April 2016-- Representatives of the government of Ecuador and UN-Habitat had an asessment visit to Manabi and Esmeraldas áreas in Ecuador, to verify the damage in infrastructure and housing by the recent earthquake and also explore ways of future collaboration in post disaster reconstruction Works. Deputy Minister of Urban Development and Housing (MIDUVI) Jorge Navas and UN-Habitat Disaster Prevention Specialist Esteban Leon, over the weekend made a detailed fly over of the affected áreas.

Leon said the tour was to check on the status of cities and how UN-Habitat can support reconstruction. "It is important to perform this type of work. Our areas of action are housing and urban planning as a tool to prevent and mitigate future disasters," he said. Together with other UN agencies and the government of Ecuador, UN-Habitat prepared various proposals aimed at supporting the recovery and reconstruction of the affected areas. The April 16 earthquake measuring 7.8 degrees on the Richter scale, destroyed much of Ecuador's northwestern coast and left at least 655 dead, 130 missing and more than 17,000 injured. The devastating quake also left some 26 000 people homeless.