Quito 16 June 2016-- Since the earthquake that struck northern Ecuador on 16 April 2016, UN-Habitat has been supporting and advising the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing. This collaboration peaked last week, when the two partners held a two-day workshop (8-9 June) in which 14 affected cities, as well as national institutions such as SENPLADES (Secretaría Nacional de Planificación y Desarrollo) and the Ministry of Social Development (Ministerio Coordinator de Desarrollo Social) were fully involved.
The Vice-Minister of MIDUVI, Mr. Jorge Fernando Navas Morales, welcomed this initiative, and underlined that “this partnership shall provide to the ministry and the cities with the knowledge, expertise and tools that will enable all of us to make wiser choices in terms of reconstruction, both for housing and cities. The results of these national and local efforts shall ultimately be presented as a example at the Habitat-III Conference, to be held in Quito in October 2016.”
The main objective of this workshop was to introduce to various experts and authorities methods and tools, and above all a vision that will be used for supporting the affected cities to develop and adopt their reconstruction plan. These integrated urban plans shall serve as reference for facilitating outside technical and financial assistance for the reconstruction of housing stock and neighborhoods affected by the earthquake.
“All this process was based in promoting five UN-Habitat principles aiming to promote and build more compact, better integrated and connected, socially inclusive and more climate-resilient cities”, said Alain Grimard, Senior Officer who attended to the workshop. Remember that the 7.8-magnitude earthquake has greatly impacted along the Ecuadorian coast the housing and human settlements, and has revealed a number of vulnerabilities in current housing stock, materials and cities planning.