NEW YORK (April 19, 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 percent of communication lines are working.
“UNICEF is on the ground in Ecuador working to ensure the health and safety of children and their families following the earthquake on Saturday,” said Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “We are particularly concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in areas which are hotspots for Zika, Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya and we are relying on the generosity of the American people to help us respond to the immediate needs.”
UNICEF teams are in Pedernales and Esmeraldas, two of the hardest hit areas, assessing children’s needs and coordinating the response.
How to help:
For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to UNICEF’s relief efforts, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:
Toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS
Text: Text "Relief" to 864233 (UNICEF) to make a $10 donation
Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038
As with any emergency, in the event that donations exceed anticipated needs, the U.S. Fund will redirect any excess funds to children in greatest need.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
For more information, contact:
Chloe Kay, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2527, firstname.lastname@example.org