Ecuador: Food Assistance Fact Sheet - June 28, 2018
Although an upper middle-income country, Ecuador remains prone to natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes, droughts and volcanic eruptions. Extreme weather events resulting from climate change exacerbate these disasters and adversely impact food security and water availability.
Ecuador also hosts a large number of refugees and asylum-seekers from Colombia, as well as Venezuelans seeking shelter from the ongoing political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
More than 630,000 Venezuelans have entered Ecuador since January 2017, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), many of whom are in need of emergency food, health and nutrition assistance.
While many Venezuelans are transiting through Ecuador to other countries in the region—including Peru and Chile—others are seeking longer-term shelter in Ecuador. An estimated 90,000 Venezuelans were residing in Ecuador as of August 2017, UNHCR reports.
USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide food-insecure Venezuelans, Colombian refugees and host community members with food vouchers—designed to meet approximately 40 percent of monthly food needs—that allow households to purchase local, nutritious foods. With FFP support, WFP also facilitates community dialogue on topics such as nutrition and works with food-insecure communities to strengthen incoming generating activities.
To date in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, FFP aims to assist approximately 2,770 Colombian refugees and 2,770 Venezuelans sheltering across the country with emergency food assistance.
In April 2016, an earthquake struck Ecuador’s northern coast. FFP immediately supported WFP’s emergency response by providing food vouchers to 20,000 earthquake-affected people in urgent need of emergency food assistance.