In the aftermath of the deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated Ecuador on April 16, CARE is ramping up relief efforts to meet the basic needs of families who have lost everything. The death toll is approaching 600, an estimated 8,340 people are injured and many others are still missing.
The tremors reduced buildings to rubble, toppled power lines and sent terrrified residents running into the streets. Many people are traumatized and afraid to return to their homes for fear of aftershocks, which have continued to rattle communities still reeling from the initial quake, the most powerful to hit Ecuador in decades.
CARE immediately established the Ecuador Earthquake Humanitarian Response Fund to provide critical assistance to those affected, as well as longer-term support to help communities rebuild in a safer way and restore their livelihoods. We know from past experience, including our recent Haiti and Nepal earthquake response efforts, that that the rebuilding and recovery process can take years.
CARE's comprehensive emergency response strategy will address these and other needs identified during our assessments, potentially also including psychosocial support, healthcare and assistance with legal issues relating to the loss of homes and assets. The plan will incorporate a gender-focused approach to support our response in all areas. To implement the initial response, reconstruction and longer-term rehabilitation efforts, we have established a $30 million fundraising target.