On 16 April, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck northern Ecuador. Well over 500 deaths and 8,000 injuries have been reported to date and there are still many people missing. There has been extensive damage to buildings, roads, and other infrastructure, including numerous Jesuit schools and social centres.
Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) has been in communication with Jesuitas Ecuador and Fundación Rio Manta, whom we have been supporting for a number of years. Within 48 hours of the earthquake our partners in Ecuador had conducted an initial assessment and they are currently focusing on providing emergency aid, including food, water, medicine and shelter.
CJI is working with Fe y Alegría Ecuador, Jesuit Refugee Service Ecuador, Fundación Río Manta, Viviendas Hogar de Cristo, and Corporación Soljusticia to deliver assistance.
The Jesuits have identified the following priorities:
1. Emergency aid: They are collecting water, food and other non-food items at different supply centres in Quito, Guayaquil, Riobamba, Cuenca and Portoviejo
2. Education: normalizing education in schools and reconstruction of education infrastructure
3. Shelter: Rebuilding houses