UNICEF-ayudahumanitaria-terremotoEcuador_ARS5782

On 22 April 2016, the first airlift of 86 metric tons of UNICEF relief items landed in Quito, Ecuador as the number of children affected by the earthquake reached 250,000. The supplies included 10 000 fleece blankets, 106 tents, 300 rolls of tarpaulin, 4000 long lasting insecticidal bed nets, 14 collapsible water tanks, 31 000 collapsible jerry cans, 5000 sachets of oral rehydration salts and 8 diarrhea kits. As part of a UN appeal for $72 million, UNICEF and its humanitarian partners will need $23 million to provide for the needs of 250,000 children over the next three months. A significant portion of this amount – $14 million – will help provide water, sanitation and hygiene in temporary shelters, health centres, learning spaces and in communities. The remaining funds will cover education, protection and health needs.

On 16 April 2016, Ecuador was hit by an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale. The earthquake was felt in the whole country, but the most significant damage has been reported from the coastal provinces. Pedernales canton (in Manabí province) has been reported as one of the most damaged territories, along with Portoviejo, Chone and Muisne. The Government has declared a State of emergency for 6 provinces: Esmeraldas, Manabí, Santa Elena, Guayas, Santo Domingo and Los Ríos. In some of the worst hit areas, mudslides are causing further damage to infrastructure and hindering access of relief teams and supplies. UNICEF is concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in the coastal areas – which are already considered hotspots for Zika, Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya. Three UNICEF immediate response teams functioning in the affected region, in Pedernales and Esmeraldas. UNICEF is also working to reinforce the psychological support for children living in shelters provided by the Government. Immediately after the earthquake struck, UNICEF sent in water purification tablets, mosquito nets and tarps.