19 April 2016 – At least 150,000 children are affected by the April 15 earthquake in Ecuador, according to initial UNICEF estimates. 

“We are in a race against time to protect children from disease and other risks common in such emergencies,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador.

According to preliminary government reports, the earthquake damaged 119 schools, affecting 88,000 children. Some 805 buildings have been destroyed and 608 have been damaged. Two hospitals have entirely collapsed in Portoviejo and Chone.

In some of the worst hit areas, mudslides are causing further damage to infrastructure and hindering access of relief teams and supplies. Some cities are still without full power and only 40 per cent of communication lines are working. 
UNICEF is concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in the coastal areas – which are already considered hotspots for Zika, Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya.

UNICEF teams are in Pedernales and Esmeraldas, two of the hardest hit areas, assessing children’s needs and coordinating the response. 

The public can help us to be there for children by donating to our Ecuador earthquake appeal now. Visit: unicef.uk/ecuadorearthquake

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Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk

For further information please contact:

Greg Jones, Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)207 375 6067 or gregj@unicef.org.uk
Unicef UK Press Office +44 (0)20 7375 6030 media@unicef.org.uk