MSF staff member Cristina Buixeres prepare to distribute hygiene and cooking kits for 52 families in the Alto del Portete shelter in Muisne, Ecuador.


Two earthquakes hit Ecuador in 2016, on 16 April and 18 May, killing an estimated 671 people and injuring another 17,638. Over 33,360 people had to move into shelters after their homes were damaged or destroyed. 

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After the first 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck, four MSF teams already working in South America travelled to Ecuador and spent a month working in Manabí and Esmeralda provinces, two of the worst-affected areas, which were later declared disaster zones. After an initial assessment, the teams focused their efforts on providing mental health support and distributing relief items. They conducted psychosocial activities with 3,675 people and distributed 180 hygiene kits, around 200 cooking kits, more than 60 shelter kits comprising mattresses, blankets and plastic sheeting, and 10 water tanks, each with a capacity of 5,000 litres. MSF staff also provided primary healthcare, carrying out a total of 120 consultations.

In Jama, located on the coast of Manabí province, an MSF team distributed shelter, cooking and hygiene kits to 500 families. In total, more than 2,000 people in Jama benefited from MSF’s support. MSF operations in Ecuador finished at the end of May.

No. staff in 2016: 0.4
Expenditure: €0.3 million
Year MSF first worked in the country: 1996

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