UNICEF responds to aftermath of Ecuador earthquake

Quito/ Sydney, 18 April 2016 - A UNICEF team is on the ground assessing the impact of the earthquake on children and today delivered 20,000 water purification tablets to Pedernales, the area worst affected by the  earthquake that hit Ecuador on Saturday night local time.

At least 246 people have died so far and more than 2,500 people have been injured. The damage is heaviest in Pedernales, Chone, Muisne, Bahía de Caráquez, Manta, Portoviejo, Esmeraldas and Guayaquil, spurring the Government to declare a state of emergency.

UNICEF Australia Head of International Programs, Felicity Wever said, “During emergencies such as the aftermath of an earthquake, children are at their most vulnerable.

At this stage we are focused on preventing the spread of disease, ensuring children are safe, particularly children who may be separated from their parents, and ensuring they have the necessary psychosocial support to deal with the profound stress of this situation.

At these times, we see how important it is to have planned for the event of an emergency. UNICEF had prepositioned emergency response supplies, including water and sanitation kits and tents ready, so we could respond quickly.”

UNICEF will continue to work with humanitarian partners to provide education, protection for children and water and sanitation supplies, including school kits and tents.
For more than 40 years, UNICEF has supported children in Ecuador to promote child rights and development. 

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:
Nicole Lawrence, UNICEF Australia, nlawrence@unicef.org.au; +61 419 748 624
 
Andrea Apolo, UNICEF Ecuador, aapolo@unicef.org; + 593.99.487.534
 
Marisol Quintero, UNICEF Regional Office in Panama, mquintero@unicef.org;
+507 656 92718
 

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything it does. Together with its partners, UNICEF works 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. In Australia, UNICEF works with government and advocate bodies to defend children’s rights and support international development programs. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
 
For more information about UNICEF Australia and its work visit: www.unicef.org.au
 
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