Nine Integral Members have joined together to respond to the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador in April. The death toll was over 650 people, and with around 80,000 people currently displaced living in official camps and temporary shelters, the need for humanitarian assistance is still very high. The cost of reconstruction is estimated to be 3.344 billion dollars (source).
Integral Member MAP International specialises in providing medical assistance. They have sent over $1.6 million in medicines and medical supplies to Ecuador following the earthquake. They have also provided water filters and training for families and are currently seeking funding to support WASH efforts and counselling for those affected by the earthquake.
Candace Rowell is MAP’s Programme Officer for their Global Programmes. She explains, “Our Ecuador office reports that it is still Phase 1 of the response – so meeting basic needs for food, water and sanitation facilities in shelters in urban and rural areas, where support is still very limited. There is an increased amount of sanitation related diseases emerging in these rural communities due to the lack of water sources and poor support for hygiene and sanitation education.”
Another Integral Member Tearfund (UK) are responding in Ecuador through their local partner Paz Y Esperanza (Peace and Hope). They are implementing a project in six locations in Manabi Province, planning to help 10,000 people with food, water, hygiene kits and psychosocial support for children. Peter Arthern, Programme Officer at Tearfund, explains how other Integral Members have contributed to their work, “In addition to Tearfund’s financial contribution, this project has also been generously funded by two Integral Members, World Relief and World Renew.”
He goes on to explain what he sees as the added value of collaboration; “Working together has a number of advantages. For example, it reduces the risk of duplication of response, which can happen following a humanitarian disaster. It also reduces the number of donors a local partner has to deal and the time that can take up, thereby allowing them to concentrate on addressing urgent humanitarian needs. By working together, it also draws on shared learning and funding to maximise our impact on those who most need assistance.”
Both MAP and Tearfund have Phase 2 plans – MAP will continue their work of improving WASH conditions and rehabilitating local communities through providing counselling services. Their strong relationship with the health authorities in the affected areas and a network of local churches means that WASH interventions can be facilitated in affected rural communities. Candace says, “Very few governmentally respected organisations are intervening in the rural areas, therefore MAP is uniquely placed to meet this unmet need. We will also continue to ship essential medicines and supplies as needed to meet the local needs.”
Peter says of Tearfund’s plans for the next 12 months, “Beyond the project presently being implemented, we are working with Paz Y Esperanza to create a follow up project which will contribute to helping those people most affected by the earthquake to re-build their lives and livelihoods, while also reducing their risk to future earthquakes.”
Integral continues to coordinate the Ecuador earthquake response by facilitating the sharing of information, plans, funding needs and resources for fundraising campaigns. Candace says, “Integral Alliance is a critical resource for mobilising funding and technical support and we hope to be able to work in collaboration with Integral Members to respond to the needs of Ecuador that are still unmet.”