World\Latin America

Aid in quake relief shows China's concern

By AMY HE in Quito, Ecuador | China Daily USA | Updated: 2016-11-18 23:17

Aid in quake relief shows China's concern

A Chinese association and Chinese companies were among the first foreigners to aid in the humanitarian efforts in Ecuador after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the country in April, killing more than 600 people and injuring close to 30,000.

China CAMC Engineering Co Ltd (CAMCE), an engineering and construction company, sent volunteer workers and machinery promptly after the earthquake, helping rescue three people from the ruins, Luo Yan, chairman of CAMCE, told China Daily in a written interview.

Company workers gave blood, donated money, relief goods and gifted 20 sets of housing for persons with disabilities, "expressing the company's concern for disadvantaged groups," Luo said, "and after the disaster relief, we forged a bond with the local people that is thicker than blood and deeper than water."

CAMCE entered the Ecuadorian market in late 2011, and since then has undertaken 10 contracting projects, which include seven 911 emergency command centers, four hospitals, and a financial center. The contracts have totaled $1 billion, according to Luo. The company has 50 branch offices in Ecuador, about 300 local staff, and its projects under construction employ more than 3,500 workers.

The company's hospital projects in the coastal areas were unaffected by the quake, despite other major hospitals in the region suffering serious damage.

"The quality of our construction projects has been affirmed by the local government and the public. This fully reflects Chinese technological achievement and the important role of Chinese management in construction quality control," said Luo.

Xu Tao, president of the Overseas Chinese Confederation of Ecuador, worked immediately to help with disaster relief, sending rice, bottled water, oil, napkins, and other supplies totaling more than $100,000 to the stricken region, said Xu.

"In addition, we also sent goods via a cargo plane. Immediately after the quake we decided that it would take too long to drive from Quito to the stricken area," Xu said. "CAMCE supported us by paying for a cargo plane for us to transport donated goods."

The Integrated Security Service ECU 911 — Ecuador's emergency response department — coordinated with the emergency volunteers that were sent, he added.

Xu mentioned that several Chinese companies were involved in humanitarian efforts after the earthquake, including China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation and Huawei.

Haier, which produces home goods and consumer electronics, does not have formal operations in Ecuador, but is working with ICESA (Innovation and Control of Energy) to offer assistance in areas damaged by the quake, said Michael Nalwalker of the Haier Cultural Center in Qingdao. It worked with local companies to donate $60,000, which Nalwalker said will go towards repairing homes and structures in stricken areas.

"Ecuador's local home appliances technology development has a foundation in [home goods] companies like Indurama and Ecasa — local factories that also produce large appliances," said Nalwalker in an e-mail to China Daily.

"Haier's energy-saving and smart home appliances can effectively reduce local energy consumption and improve resource management. This means Haier can help local governments with electrical kitchen appliance upgrades, and replacing gas-powered stoves or appliances with more efficient electric models," he said.

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