18 April 2016

7.8-magnitude Earthquake in Ecuador; thousands of people in urgent need

SOS Children’s Villages launches humanitarian appeal to support earthquake survivors

Quito, Ecuador, April 18, 2016 —Children and families are in dire need of support after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador on April 16, 2016. The earthquake has left 350 people dead, more than 2,000 injured, and several thousands more without shelter, food, water and electricity. Numbers are expected to rise.

In the town of Pedernales, where up to 80 percent of infrastructure has been affected, people are desperate and asking for help.

“There is no electricity and telecommunications are affected. Water service is scare, and the inhabitants of this small coastal town are continuing to look for their relatives under the rubble,” said Gontran Pelissier, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador.

Since 1963, SOS Children’s Villages has been working in Ecuador to support orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children. With villages in the affected cities of Esmeraldas, Portoviejo and Guayaquil, SOS Children’s Villages is equipped to support earthquake-affected communities.

“While we are very fortunate that no SOS families or villages suffered loss or serious damage, SOS Children’s Villages is well positioned—in the coastal areas most affected by the earthquake and across the country—to respond quickly to protect other children and support families who are in need of help,” said Andreas Papp, International Director of Emergency Response for SOS Children’s Villages.

SOS Children’s Villages has issued a humanitarian appeal in response to help:


  • Provide food, water and shelter to affected children and families.
  • Reunite children with their families and care for children who are unaccompanied or separated.
  • Provide Child Friendly Spaces that offer shelter, emotional support, basic medical care, and other services to help those in need.
Donations to support children and families affected by the earthquake can be made to the SOS Ecuador Earthquake Relief Fund. Link here: www.sos-usa.org/ecuador 

Media inquiries
SOS Children’s Villages spokespeople in Ecuador available for interviews. If interested, please contact Stephanie Rendon at srendon@sos-usa.org or 786.222.0406.

About SOS Children’s Villages
SOS Children’s Villages builds families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children in 134 countries, including Ecuador. Since 1963, SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador has been supporting thousands of people through its family-based care and family-strengthening programs.

SOS Children’s Villages Ecuador is active in Cuenca, Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Ibarra, Portoviejo and Quito. To learn more about SOS Children’s Villages, visit www.sos-usa.org.