A prolonged period of low rainfall in southwest Ecuador has led to an acute drought in the provinces of Loja and El Oro, near the Peruvian border. Several activities by the UN system have already been initiated to relieve the effects of the drought. UNDP is working to increase food production, improve access to water, sanitation and irrigation. In a joint effort with the World Food Programme and the Ecuadorean Ministry of Education, UNDP is providing food to more than 7,000 children and 370 teachers in the province of Loja. UNDP is also supporting coordination of international aid to the drought-stricken area.