On April 16, 2016 at 18:58 local time a 7.8 earthquake. The Government of Ecuador has reported:

  • 660 people dead
  • More than 4,605 injured
  • 9,738 buildings destroyed
  • 605 buildings affected

The UN Flash appeal has stated that more than 750,000 people are affected. The most affected provinces are Esmeraldas and Manabí.


Our partners on the ground, Oxfam, conducted an initial assessment determined an immediate intervention focusing mainly on Water and Sanitation (WASH) with food security components including cash for work or food vouchers, over 3-6 months. The main focus areas of Oxfam’s relief efforts are in Manabi, in the towns of Portoviejo (population: 300,000), Pedernales, Jama, Tosagua, and Canoa. Oxfam aims to reach at least 45,000 expected beneficiaries during the initial response with clean water, sanitation and support for food security and to help people recover their lost livelihoods and assets.

Eight shelters were visited by the WASH team during the assessment. Besides shelters, the team also visited several temporary shelters established by the communities. Current water distribution is made with bottled water and is not enough for proper hygiene, there is also a lack of safe water reservoirs. Chemical toilets are being used in shelters, insufficient for the number of people and they are not sex-differentiated or for people with disabilities.

The number of people at risk of food insecurity is estimated to be 7,500 people (1,500 homes). There has been a reduction of 50% in their normal diet diversity and food sources. Livelihoods are severely affected and cannot be recovered immediately because of the damages in the hotel sector, small trade and general unemployment.

Health: Main concern is the risk of infections and diseases among people in shelters due to poor sanitary conditions. On the other hand, the team also observed that water distribution is not efficient or secure enough for shelters and also people still in their homes without running water, which poses high risk of diarrhea and other infections.

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