Chile Has Already Received 1,135 Tons of Humanitarian Aid Following Earthquake

By Dialogo
March 09, 2010

This is when we have to “activate” our human and compassionate side! It’s of extreme urgency to help a country that is in a post-earthquake situation more critical than its historical stock. We must interact contributing with waht our "pocket" allows. By: Samantha P. Tourinho

Chile has received 1,135 tons of humanitarian aid since the earthquake that
struck on 27 February devastated the central and southern regions of the country,
Chilean foreign minister Mariano Fernández announced today.

"We are very moved by and very grateful for the international cooperation,”
the minister declared, emphasizing that “the aid has fully corresponded to the
priorities established by the government and the list of requests that we
made.”

In the first hours after the tragedy, the authorities said that before
requesting international aid, they wanted to know exactly what they needed, so that
assistance to the victims would be more efficient, something that was criticized by
some political and media sectors.

The foreign minister specified that the aid received has arrived on seventy
flights originating in a score of countries, fundamentally in Latin America and the
United States.

“It’s necessary to highlight the impressive Latin American collaboration, the
commitment even from countries that are less developed than Chile, like Bolivia,
which has provided us with three airplanes with potable water,” Fernández
underlined.

The international aid to mitigate the damage caused by the earthquake has
come from Peru, Brazil, the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela,
Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, France, Russia, Colombia, China, Japan, Qatar, Australia,
Germany, and Uruguay.

Fernández spoke after meeting in the Palacio de la Moneda with German foreign
minister Guido Westerwelle, who arrived in Santiago today on an official visit.
Following the 27 February earthquake, Westerwelle decided at the last minute to
include Chile in his Latin American trip, which also includes Argentina, Brazil, and
Uruguay.

The chief German diplomat explained that the purpose of his visit was to
express the solidarity of the German authorities and the German people with the
government and people of Chile, and additionally to offer aid in overcoming the
crisis and collaboration in rebuilding.

“Germany will be at Chile’s side,” emphasized Foreign Minister Westerwelle,
who is also federal Vice-Chancellor (the second-ranking position in the government)
and head of the German Free Democratic Party.

“He is the first major European politician to come to Chile in this time of
disaster, so that we are doubly grateful,” Mariano Fernández underlined.

The foreign minister recalled that since the emigration of 1850, Chile and
Germany have given refuge to one another’s exiles at different periods in history.

Fernández also highlighted the commercial exchange between the two countries,
worth four billion dollars, and the ties established in the last twenty years thanks
to the presence in Chile of all the German political foundations.

In the meeting between the two ministers in the Palacio de la Moneda, Foreign
Minister Fernández stressed the importance that German investment and development
cooperation have for Chile at this time.

The rebuilding of the regions affected by the earthquake will be the
principal subject that the German foreign minister will address in his planned
meeting today with Chilean President-Elect Sebastián Piñera.
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