More than 80,000 children reached by Unicef so far
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16 October 2016 – Six months after a major earthquake rocked Ecuador, meeting the needs of children still living in informal shelters and rural areas remains a significant challenge, Unicef said today.
Some 8,800 people continue living in informal shelters, which lack adequate access to safe water and sanitation. In addition, local child protection services need to be strengthened, and many children still need help to overcome the fear that keeps them from attending school since the earthquake.
“We need to continue supporting Ecuador as it recovers. It is crucial that children have access to safe water and healthcare, and are protected from violence,” said Grant Leaity, Unicef Representative in Ecuador. “We need to build on the successes achieved so far.”
Following the government-led response to the earthquake, schools have now reopened and the number of people living in official shelters has dropped from more than 33,000 to 7,000, with some people receiving financial support to find housing and some being hosted by other families.
To date, Unicef has reached more than 80,000 children in the worst affected areas, as part of its support to the national government.
Thanks to donors from around the world, Unicef has been able to provide micronutrients and vitamin A for 250,000 children and 26,800 pregnant women. Vitamin A deficiency puts children at greater risk of illness and death. In addition, 30,000 doses of zinc supplementation have been distributed to treat potential cases of acute diarrhoea.
Unicef has also provided safe water to some 40,000 people, as part of a concerted emergency response that gave 200,000 people access to safe water.
At the same time, educational materials about ZIKA prevention have been introduced in the school curriculum in the earthquake-affected areas. Unicef has also distributed educational materials to more than 34,000 children and created temporary educational spaces for over 13,000.
Unicef still needs US$ 6 million in order to continue providing post-earthquake support to meet the immediate and longer-term needs.
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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