Updated July 15, 2016


Situation Overview

On Saturday, April 16, a powerful earthquake in Ecuador left more than 663 people dead. There was heavy damage to hospitals, schools and homes, forcing 5,400 families into temporary shelters. A total of 350,000 people, including 250,000 children and adolescents, were in need of urgent relief.

Since the earthquake struck, more than 1,800 aftershocks have been reported. Nearly 80,000 people remain displaced from their homes, with nearly 30,000 people still living in shelters. 

The main issues facing children and families center around the shelters, which are overcrowded and have poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water. As a result, the displaced families, especially the children, face an increased risk of diarrhea and mosquito-borne diseases such as the Zika virus. Furthermore, about 120,000 children remain with limited or no access to education.

What SOS Is Doing to Help

Active in Ecuador since 1963, we are focusing our recovery efforts on the two cities hit hardest by the earthquake, Pedernales and Portoviejo. Our main focus, as always, is vulnerable children.

Our current relief efforts include:
  • Teams of psychologists and social workers who are supporting affected children and families in relief camps;
  • Emergency medical care to children, youth and adults who were injured during the earthquake.  
  • An Information and Communications Technology center in Pedernales, where affected families can access electricity and the Internet.
  • Child Friendly Spaces that allow children a safe place to participate in educational and recreational activities. 

How You Can Help

  • Donate: Give now to support our relief efforts for the children and families in Ecuador. 

  • Sponsor a Child in Ecuador: Children in Ecuador need your help now more than ever. By sponsoring a child in Ecuador, you can help a vulnerable child recover from this devastating earthquake and help him or her build a bright future.


Since 1963, SOS Children’s Villages has been working in Ecuador to support orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. We are currently supporting more than 1,400 vulnerable families and about 3,000 children across six locations, including in towns hit hard by the earthquake. In addition, there are nearly 500 children growing up in SOS Families across six SOS Villages in Ecuador.