WFP/Alejandro Chicheri

The Situation

Ecuador is an upper middle-income country with a population of around 14.5 million people; 63 percent of the Ecuadorean population live in urban areas. In 2015, income inequality remained high, and gender-based violence affected six out of 10 women.

The influx of refugees from Colombia is straining the country’s social services and cohesion. The northern border area is designated as Security Level 3 while the rest of the country is designated as Level 2. The divisions among different ethnic groups are often intensified by the influx of refugees.

The country experiences recurrent natural disasters, including droughts, floods, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Average temperatures increased by 1°C over the last 30 years. In 2015, 73,200 people were affected by geohazards.

World Food Programme's Work

WFP has been present in Ecuador since 1964. The UN agency works alongside the Ecuadorean government in four main ways to strengthen local and national capacities:

  • Help Columbia’s refugees and vulnerable Ecuadorean host communities: WFP complements the Ecuadorean Government’s social policy by providing food assistance to Colombian refugees and asylum seekers, as well as to vulnerable Ecuadorean families, through an e-card scheme. Participants use their e-card to buy fresh, nutritious foods at local stores and attend monthly training sessions, where they learn about healthy eating habits, gender equity and good hygiene and sanitation practices. WFP also works with small farmer associations, linking them to WFP food assistance activities and to social protection programs run by the Ecuadorean Government.
  • Building resilience against climate change: WFP works with the Ecuadorean Government and with 50 communities in the most vulnerable areas of the province of Pichincha and the Jubones river basin, raising awareness of the effects of climate change on food and nutrition security and strengthening the ability of local communities to respond to these changes. The project supports community members, encouraging participation in educational workshops and helping them decide on specific measures they can take to cope with their changing environment.
  • Preparing for and responding to emergencies: Together with Ecuador’s Secretariat of Risk Management (SGR) and the National Decentralised Risk Management System, WFP has developed tools to measure the impact of disasters on the food and nutrition security of affected communities. SGR and WFP also conduct joint training and workshops to prepare the country’s local and national institutions to respond to natural and man-made disasters.

On April 16, 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the northern coast of Ecuador. The Government of Ecuador requested WFP to provide food assistance to 520,000 people in the most affected areas. People in need will be assisted with commodity food vouchers and e-cards, where markets are functioning.

Articles About Ecuador

WFP USA/Ash Kosiewicz

The Road Ahead for Food Security in Colombia and Ecuador

Achieving a lasting peace agreement and making life-saving gains in nutrition among women and children make these two countries promising areas for new collaboration and investment.

Ash Kosiewicz

WFP/Alejandro Chicheri

More than 100,000 Ecuadoreans Receive WFP Assistance

In the aftermath of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Ecuador two weeks ago, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is working with the government to scale up its operation to reach…

World food program usa

WFP Colleague Relives Ecuador Earthquake: “My House Started to Fall in Front of My Eyes”

Field monitor Susy Rincones was relaxing in her hammock on the evening of April 16 when she began to feel the ground trembling. Within seconds she was watching her house in Muisne…

Susy Rincones

GoodPop Partners With WFP USA For Ecuador Relief

In honor of our recent announcement, hear what our new partner GoodPop has to say about helping reach families in need in Ecuador. The "Good" in our name GoodPop isn't just…

World food program usa

Ecuador Update: WFP Makes Plans to Reach 260,000 People With Food Assistance

In response to a request from the Ecuadorean government, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) will scale up efforts after providing food assistance to 8,000 people on Tuesday. April 22nd Update…

World food program usa

WFP Mobilizes Response to Earthquake in Ecuador

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that hit Ecuador this weekend, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is coordinating with its government and mounting an emergency response to assist the…

World food program usa

Two girls walk hand in hand, one with a pink backpack over her shoulders
WFP/Gabriela Malo

Ending Hunger for the Scientists of Tomorrow

by Gabriela Malo

Guest contributor

Partner YUM! Brands Visits Schools in Ecuador

Our partner, YUM! Brands, recently visited some schools in Ecuador to see school meals in action. Check out the photos to learn more about the impact these meals and homegrown…

World food program usa