Ecuador: Floods OCHA Situation Report No. 3

Situation Report
Originally published
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2006/0052

OCHA Situation Report No. 3
Ecuador - Floods

This situation report is based on information provided by the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ecuador, the United Nations Emergency Team (UNETE) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.


1. Heavy rains and floods continue in the coastal provinces of El Oro, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Ríos, and Manabí.

2. Since early February 2006, 16 people have died due to floods, 11 of whom in Los Ríos province.

3. According to the latest information, the floods have affected 28,000 families in the provinces of El Oro, Guayas, Esmeraldas, Los Ríos, and Manabí. The number of families requiring urgent assistance remains at 11,432 (see previous situation report).

4. On 28-30 March, a WFP needs assessment mission undertaken in Esmeraldas province found that 35 families have been severely affected by floods in Las Burradas neighbourhood. Other areas to the north of the province have also been affected due to the overflowing of Cayapas, Onzole, and Santiago rivers two weeks ago. This week, 80 food rations will be distributed in Las Burradas.

5. In Los Rios province, hundreds of families have been evacuated from their homes. According to Civil Defense, 588 of them have been moved to temporary shelters and to the homes of relatives. So far, a total of 4,041 ha of rice, 215 ha of maize, and 21 ha of cash crops (cacao, bananas, peanuts) have been lost.

6. Agriculture is the main activity of people living in flood-affected areas. As long as the water does not subside, farmers will be unable to produce. As a consequence, the affected families will require food assistance for three months until their livelihoods are restored.

National Response

7. On 5 April the Government of Ecuador requested international assistance through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Government is requesting international donations of food, domestic items, agricultural tools, clothing, mattresses, or cash to support flood victims and recovery activities. The Government is also asking for technical and financial support for the reforestation of upstream river basins and the conservation and exploitation of mangroves as a preventative measure for the next winter rainy season.

8. So far, the Government has allocated over USD 33 million to the five affected provinces for the provision of food aid and relief items, health and education activities, rehabilitation of infrastructure, and support to vulnerable families.

9. The United Nations Country Team decided on 6 April, after analysing the situation, that it would not be necessary to launch a flash appeal, as UN support to the Government has been appropriate. The UN system will continue offering technical support until the situation stabilizes.

10. So far, 20,000 food rations (272 MT of foodstuffs) have been purchased and are being distributed to beneficiaries with funds from the Contingency Agreement between WFP, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the Ministry of Social Welfare, and Civil Defense, as follows:

# of programmed food rations being distributed
El Oro
Los Ríos

- Affected families in El Oro and Guayas will receive food rations for one month (the first distribution was completed last week; the second distribution will start next week).

- Affected families in Manabí will receive food rations for two months (the first phase distribution was completed last week)

- The first food distribution in Los Ríos (5,300 food rations) was completed last week and the procurement of commodities to complete a two-month food aid to this province is underway.

11. The figures of emergency food rations from the above list which have been already distributed to affected families as per 31 March are as follows:

# Food Rations distributed 1st Phase
El Oro
Los Ríos

12. The procurement of an additional 16,643 emergency food rations (226.3 MT of food) with remaining funds from the Contingency Agreement (13,000 food rations) and the OCHA Emergency Grant (3,643 food rations) is underway. The food rations will be delivered to Los Ríos and Guayas, which are the most affected areas, but depending on the situation, distribution plans might change. The Ecuadorian Red Cross has also been distributing food rations in the affected areas, in coordination with the UN.

13. Nevertheless, the quantity of food in the pipeline will be insufficient to cover the needs of affected families for a three-month period. With the donations from Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and the Red Cross, 60% of the needs are covered. The Government, with UN support is seeking additional contributions.

14. WHO/PAHO in coordination with the Regional Health Sub-Secretary and other public institutions has assessed needs of flood-affected families and in temporary shelters in the most affected areas. In coordination with WFP, it will distribute supplies to health operation units, mobile brigades, and hospitals.

15. In coordination with Health and Education provincial offices, WHO/PAHO will distribute drinkable water in shelters, and will support health units reactivate their centres in order to produce chlorine, as well as the implementation of a quality of water vigilance system in flooded rural areas.

16. Since the floods started in early March, WHO/PAHO has provided technical support for the organisation and training of Health - Emergency Operation Committees in the affected provinces through workshops and the circulation of guidelines.

17. In Guayas province, WHO/PAHO has supported the elaboration of hospital contingency plans and is now working with the County Health Council to develop a social communication pilot plan on seasonal illnesses.

18. UNICEF is working with the Regional Health Sub-secretary and has provided 153,000 oral re-hydration salt tablets to be distributed in affected areas. UNICEF is also disseminating information in temporary shelters about how to cope with disasters. An assessment mission was undertaken in shelters last week.

19. Due to social tensions and political instability in the country, assistance to flood victims is weak; the situation is aggravating as bad weather continues.

International Response

20. The Government of Ecuador has received international humanitarian aid from:

- Brazil: 14 MT of food (1,002 food rations) on 29 March,

- Venezuela: 40 MT of food and non-food items, the first consignment of which was received on 1 April,

- Argentina: 4 MT of food and 1MT of non-food items, scheduled to arrive on 11 April.

21. OCHA is prepared to accept cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in support of the UN Resident Coordinator in Colombia.

22. OCHA remains in close contact with the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator and will continue reporting as further information is made available.

23. This situation report, together with the information on contributions and other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

MAP: Ecuador: Floods - Situation map

Tel. +41-22-917 1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:

Ms. Marie Spaak
Direct Tel. +41 22 917 2163

Press contact:

(GVA) - Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, Direct Tel. + 41-22-917 2653
(N.Y.) - Ms. Stephanie Bunker, Direct Tel. +1-917-367 51 26

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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