On 16 April 2016, the Pacific coast of Ecuador was hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, the strongest in decades, killing over 500 women, men and children, injuring more than 4,600, and affecting the lives of half a million people. A state of emergency has been declared in six of the countrys regions. Among the worst-hit towns was Pedernales, which is declared a Disaster Zone. We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives and the impact on the health and livelihoods of thousands of women, men and children affected by the earthquake. The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme has established an Ecuador Earthquake Taskforce to coordinate the needed support on the ground. Its first priority was to secure the wellbeing of UN Volunteers, and UNV is relieved that all 25 UN Volunteers serving in Ecuador are reportedly safe.
In close cooperation with the UN system, UNV is now working to guarantee the continued safety and wellbeing of all our UN Volunteers.
In collaboration with a number of UN partner agencies on the ground in Ecuador, UNV is assessing how UN Volunteers can assist in the relief efforts. UNV is ready to mobilize volunteers with extensive experience in the field of emergency response and early recovery.
The United Nations has launched a Flash Appeal to frame the immediate humanitarian response by the UN and participating NGOs, in close coordination with and complementing the relief efforts of the Government of Ecuador. Under this plan, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Ecuador and its partners will provide a highly targeted and time-bound response, focusing on immediate life-saving interventions and support to livelihood restoration for approximately 350,000 people.
Find out more about the UN's Flash Appeal Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of the United Nations provides rapid initial funding for life-saving actions at the onset of emergencies and for poorly funded, essential humanitarian operations in protracted crises. This Fund is used for crises anywhere in the world. Find out more about the CERF and how to donate: