Teams helped prevent an outbreak of disease
International Medical Corps’ earthquake response in Ecuador concluded on July 31, and we have handed all of our water, sanitation and hygiene activities to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). International Medical Corps assisted approximately 9,860 people, helping to prevent the outbreak and spread of disease in the aftermath of the disaster.
To continue supporting International Medical Corps’ emergency efforts, please visit “A Healthier Future for South Sudan’s Families” project, where International Medical Corps is responding to the urgently needed care for those affected by recent conflict.
International Medical Corps’ Emergency Earthquake Response in Ecuador
“At first they [International Medical Corps] came around asking where the most needs were. By the next week they came and built showers, latrines, and are currently putting up water tanks. Truly this is what we need. It is very good help because good health care begins with good hygiene. For me, this is incredible.” Dr. Carlos, a local physician and beneficiary, from Jama of Manabí province in Ecuador recalls.
Carlos speaks of our response following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, striking Ecuador on April 16, 2016. With more than 2,280 aftershocks, many coastal villages were devastated, with significant damage further inland, including collapsed buildings and destroyed roads. The Government of Ecuador declared a state of emergency for six provinces, including the worst-affected coastal provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas. In all, there were 671 fatalities, 6,200 injuries, and the damage or destruction of 29,000 buildings.
The Government of Ecuador estimates that rebuilding Ecuador’s earthquake-damaged communities, repairing local infrastructure, and fully regaining economic productivity may take as long as three years. A total of 68,000 families—approximately 231,000 people—registered for government assistance through the Registro Único de Damnificados. The government has supported more than 10,470 affected families with food and rent support, and issued 9,300 bonds for housing reconstruction. Classes officially resumed on July 4, with an estimated 55,000 children returning to academic activity following the completion of 26 temporary education units in affected areas.
Humanitarian and disaster response organizations are currently handing over activities to sustainable country entities, including various government ministries and organizations with a long-term country presence. In Esmeraldas and Manabí, approximately 8,700 people remained in 26 official displacement sites as of late July, with thousands of others staying with host families and in spontaneous settlements. The Government of Ecuador and relief agencies have emphasized the importance of coordination to ensure that existing needs continue to be addressed as the emergency response phase comes to a close and recovery efforts move forward.
In support of the Government of Ecuador’s response efforts and in the wake of the April 16 quake, International Medical Corps deployed an emergency response expert to provide relief in the aftermath of the quake. Longtime First Responder, Dr. Robert Fuller, joined a team of 30 local medical professionals to assess the needs in the areas hardest hit by the earthquake. The local team of medical volunteers provided care to 158 patients and delivered basic medical supplies and medicines to health facilities in the days immediately following the quake.
In response to identified needs and working in coordination with government entities and other relief partners, we deployed an emergency response team to provide water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance in quake-affected Manabí Province. Focusing efforts in the affected cantons, or “districts”, of Jama and Pedernales, we reached 32 sites, including 25 small villages, five displacement camps, and two spontaneous settlements, partnering with organizations like Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio to help ensure services reached those most in need.
Working hand-in-hand with community members, we constructed 76 showers and 30 latrines in Jama and Pedernales, benefitting approximately 3,380 people. Our teams also assembled 19 water tanks for the showers, along with handwashing stations. In order to ensure that affected households had access to soap, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads, and other essential hygiene items, we also delivered 2,051 hygiene kits. Water filters accompanied the kits when needed, with teams distributing 930 water filters to families. Our interventions helped to prevent the outbreak and spread of disease by restoring and improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services in the aftermath of the disaster.
With your generous and timely support and support from other donors, we reached some 9,860 men, women, and children – like Dr. Carlos – with relief services following the quake in Ecuador. We thank you for your continued support as we work to assist those in urgent need anywhere, anytime, no matter what the conditions.
Photos taken by Enrique Aviles.
We worked hand-in-hand with community members
We reached approximately 9,860 people with support
Activities spanned 32 sites