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Children in Ecuador often face an impoverished upbringing. As parents turn to alcohol, drugs and violence, children are often left to pick up the pieces. SOS Children's Villages has worked to save damaged lives in Ecuador for over half a century. … more about our charity work in Ecuador

Ecuador earthquake: 28,000 still remain in temporary shelters

More than 28,000 people still remain in temporary shelters in Ecuador after the earthquake
More than 28,000 people still remain in temporary shelters in Ecuador after the earthquake

On Saturday 16 April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador killing hundreds of people, leaving thousands wounded and causing severe damage to infrastructure. It was Ecuador's largest earthquake since 1979.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least 750,000 were affected by the earthquake and more than 28,000 people still remain in temporary shelters along the northern coastal line.

Thankfully, none of the six SOS Children’s Villages in the country were affected. We were quickly able to mobilise our emergency teams who began distributing food and water as well as blankets, mosquito nets and personal hygiene kits.

In the weeks that have followed, we have focused our support on Pedernales, a coastal town near to the quake’s epicentre where many families were badly affected, as well as the communities of Pedernales and Chamanga by:

  • Establishing distribution centres to provide water, food, and emergency kits
  • Providing children access to psychologists and social workers to help them cope with trauma
  • Partnering with experts from the German Medical Association to provide medicines and healthcare
  • Setting up an ICT corner to help children and young people continue their studies and connect with affected friends and family
  • Working to protect the needs and rights of children living in temporary shelters
  • Working with partners such as UNICEF to help 2,600 families find long-term housing solutions as well income opportunities.

The road to recovery in Ecuador will sadly be a slow one. Gontran Pelissier, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages in Ecuador, says the need for practical and emotional support is still critical: There is overcrowding in the shelters, which means there are risks to both health and safety. That is why we are working to provide emotional support for families and offer protective spaces for children.”

In June alone, more than 800 families and 1,550 children received our support and we will continue our outreach in the coming months.

SOS Children’s Villages in Ecuador: We have worked in Ecuador for more than 50 years. There are six Children’s Villages across the country providing new homes for orphaned and abandoned children as well as outreach programmes which improve the livelihoods of thousands of vulnerable families. 

You can make a lasting difference to vulnerable families affected by disasters. Donate to our Emergency Relief Fund today.