On 16 April 2016, the strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador since 1949 devastated the country's north coast. The 7.8 magnitude tremor killed 671 people, injured over 17 600 and left close to 2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
With funding from EU humanitarian aid, UNICEF and its partners helped the coastal provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabi get back on their feet. More than 15 000 people (including 6000 children) in over 40 rural communities benefitted from renewed access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices, child protection protocols, and disaster risk reduction programmes.
UNICEF's intervention helped to re-establish the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in communities, supported child-friendly spaces and psycho-social attention for minors and their families, and strengthened local capacities to respond to future disasters.