The foreign ministers of Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) satisfied at the company s headquarters north of Quito on April 23 to go over strategies by the continental bloc will help Ecuador handle the disastrous earthquake that hit the nation on April 16. The disastrous earthquake eliminated more than 650 people and seriously hurt 12,500 others.  It also ruined 7,000 structures, damaged about 2,400 more and left homeless more than 26,000 locals in the western coastal area of the nation. 
Regional efforts to assist Ecuador
Far, over 2,000 rescue employees, primarily from UNASUR countries arrived in Ecuador to assist in rescue efforts and to remove bodies buried under the debris. The Ecuadorian government specified that there has been an amazing response from at least twenty-four nations around the world, however especially from neighboring South American nations and more from the UNASUR and other countries in the Americas who revealed their uniformity through help and rescue employees.
Countries in the regional bloc, such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil and Colombia, have actually contributed tons of medical and humanitarian materials and sent out groups of rescue workers. The first group of rescue workers showed up from Venezuela within twenty-four hours after the earthquake struck. 
Even prior to the facility of UNASUR almost a years earlier, South American countries have actually been very fast in rendering assistance to their neighbors at times of natural catastrophes. They responded quickly when Chile was hit by earthquakes and when there were disastrous flood in Guyana (in 2005) and Bolivia (in 2015).
At the UNASUR conference, both the Ecuadorian foreign minister (Guillaume Long) and the Secretary General (Ernesto Samper) reminded the participants that not only Ecuador is experiencing really tough times,  Also Uruguay and Chile, which after months of drought, have suffered from torrential rains that have actually extensively triggered deaths and enormous damages to infrastructure. 
President Rafael Correa said that about US$ 3 billion will be required to rebuild the country.  This is itself an extremely steep challenge to the country s economy. Generally due to declining income from oil, Ecuador s biggest earner, financial growth is expected to be near no this year;  and exports of bananas, flowers, cocoa beans and fish could be negatively impacted by messed up roadways and port hold-ups as an outcome of the earthquake. Fortunately, the oil market did not suffer any major damage and the main refinery of Esmeraldas was due to start up again and to work at complete capability. 
To finance the costs of the emergency situation, the federal government revealed that some $600 million in credit from multilateral loan providers was right away turned on. It has actually also accepted a credit limit for $2 billion from the China Development Bank to finance public investment.  China has actually been the largest financier of Ecuador since 2009 and the credit was negotiated prior to the earthquake struck.
In addition, President Correa announced that sales tax would be raised from 12 percent to 14 percent.  He explained that all Ecuadorians have to carry the problem of the earthquake and that it need to not be disproportionately put on individuals in the impacted areas.
Importance of a regional mitigation strategy
The disaster in Ecuador illustrates the significance of actions to alleviate problems developing out of such awful scenarios in the area. While UNASUR s Mechanism of Coordination and Mutual Assistance to aid in the event of natural catastrophes can be reliable, that process needs to be broadened and streamlined to result re-development of societies and economies that suffer from widespread natural misfortunes. The Argentine volunteer group known as the White Helmets (handled by the UN) is incredibly useful in this regard, as confirmed by its work in Haiti over the years.
Regional and hemispheric institutions simply cannot wait till catastrophes strike before they begin to mobilize resources; hence, it is now essential for the urgent establishment of a special local permanent system to rapidly coordinate help to afflicted nations. This body must satisfy on a planned routine basis to map out methods, thus ensuring its effectiveness as one of the best forms of disaster preparedness.
Need for a regional corps of development volunteers
Back in 1994, at the first Summit of the Americas in Miami, the late Guyana s President Dr. Cheddi Jagan urged Latin American and Caribbean countries to coordinate their efforts to implement initiatives to combat inequality and improve their human capital. In this respect, he proposed the facility of a corps of development volunteers  drawn from all the nations of the area and aimed at supplementing the work of the White Helmets (which includes medical experts) to help in emergency circumstances in numerous countries. Dr. Jagan imagined that the corps of development volunteers disaster relief workers, health workers, engineers, teachers, social employees, researchers, etc. would aid in local nations affected by natural disasters and to help in special social and financial follow-up programs to help in their recuperation.
While this proposition won consentaneous support at the summit and was included in the summit s action strategy, it was never ever carried out.  Dr. Jagan likewise incorporated this concept in his proposal of a New Global Human Order, which was adopted by the United Nations in November 2000 for implementation.  Much political foot-dragging has actually slowed down this procedure, however it is now crucial that either UNASUR or the larger Community of Latin American and Caribbean Stated (CELAC) takes the lead to develop this corps of advancement volunteers to help in Latin American and Caribbean countries affected by natural catastrophes earthquakes, cyclones, floods, dry spells, epidemics, etc. and also, at the exact same time, help to battle poverty, lack of knowledge and illness throughout the area.