7.8 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Ecuador

At least 150,000 children are affected by the April 15 earthquake in Ecuador, according to initial UNICEF estimates. 

“We are in a race against time to protect children from disease and other risks common in such emergencies,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador.

According to preliminary government reports, the earthquake damaged 119 schools, affecting 88,000 children. Some 805 buildings have been destroyed and 608 have been damaged. Two hospitals have entirely collapsed in Portoviejo and Chone.

In some of the worst hit areas, mudslides are causing further damage to infrastructure and hindering access of relief teams and supplies. Some cities are still without full power and only 40 per cent of communication lines are working. 

UNICEF is concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in the coastal areas – which are already considered hotspots for Zika, Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya.

UNICEF teams are in Pedernales and Esmeraldas, two of the hardest hit areas, assessing children’s needs and coordinating the response.  

UNICEF and partners respond

UNICEF has been working in Ecuador since 1973 to promote child rights and development, particularly for the most vulnerable and marginalized children. In the coming days and months, UNICEF will continue to respond to the immediate needs of children, providing safe drinking water, essential medicines and nutrition, and restoring access to education and child-friendly spaces, to ensure children are safe, protected, and cared for while communities take on the immense task of recovering from the quake. In the event that donations exceed UNICEF’s humanitarian appeal, funds will be used for children in the greatest need.

UNICEF is working with the government and other partners to:

  • Assess the situation to identify vulnerable children and families in need
  • Provide life-saving assistance, including safe drinking water, hygiene supplies, essential medicines and tents
  • Monitor and treat children for severe acute malnutrition and diarrhea from unsafe drinking water
  • Establish safe spaces for children to learn, play and be protected from risks to their health and well-being
  • Help separated children reunite with their families and gain access to psychosocial support

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The Israeli Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in Israel. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood.

For more information, visit www.unicef.org.il and follow us on Twitter via @UNICEFIsrael to stay on top of #EcuadorEarthquake updates.


500.00 NIS -