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On Sunday 17th April, the most powerful earthquake to hit Ecuador in 36 years left in its wake enormous loss of life, thousands with injuries, and complete devastation to both homes and livelihoods. More than 600 people died and over 70,000 people remain without housing; in some regions infrastructure has been completely destroyed. All We Can’s humanitarian aid partners in Ecuador have been working to identify the most vulnerable families in two of the worst affected provinces in the west of the country. They have been working to provide food, clean water and temporary shelter.
In the provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí, while favourable weather and the end of the rainy season has allowed some people to return to their livelihoods, the destruction of shrimp farms, the decimation of rural land and the loss of businesses has meant an employment crisis. People are being forced to travel to other regions to find jobs, and in some cases fathers are leaving their wives and children behind in temporary camps while they relocate for work. More isolated communities – like the people of the coastal Muisne Island – have found life increasingly difficult with a lack of government support. Unstable buildings remain waiting for demolition and some families are still struggling to access essential resources like clean water.
All We Can is working through its ACT Alliance partners in the region. In coming months it will be focusing on reaching out to families in some of the worst affected areas like Muisne Island with food, clean and safe water supplies, and psychosocial care. Some communities have already had their water systems repaired and restored but there remain villages which have lost all their latrines, leaving people susceptible to health problems and diseases. Additionally; thousands of people across the two provinces are still sheltering in government camps or in school and community buildings. By restoring essential infrastructure as well as by addressing emotional and physiological needs, it is hoped that the people of Esmeraldas and Manabí will be able to begin the journey towards recovery.
Our Ecuador Earthquake Appeal is still open. To do all you can to support the communities of Esmeraldas and Manabí, visit www.awcdev.us/ecuador
A prayer for Ecuador
God of the world,
You have not forgotten the people of Ecuador.
We pray for this nation today
and bring before you those who weep and suffer;
those who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods.
Be with All We Can’s partners
as they continue to act with compassion,
and grant them the wisdom to identify the most vulnerable
and, in the midst of such confusion and despair,
to bring hope.
We pray for your peace, love and restoration in Ecuador.
Stir our hearts into action here in the UK
So that we might continue to remember our global brothers and sisters.
For the glory of your name
Laura works for All We Can as the Communications Manager. She is also an internationally acclaimed photographer with a passion for women's rights. She is studying MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies in her spare time and lives with her husband Stephen in Essex.