Stop Hunger Now Peru Acts Quickly to Provide Ecuador Earthquake Relief
Reaching a magnitude of 7.8, last week’s earthquake in Ecuador marked the South American country’s worst natural disaster in nearly seventy years. The death toll has risen to 646, an additional 12,500 are injured and 130 remain missing, according to President Rafael Correa.
Understanding the importance of a swift response in a nation where poverty and lack of resources can severely exacerbate suffering, Stop Hunger Now Peru activated their crisis response immediately. Staff met with the Ecuadorean embassy in Lima to receive official approval for crossing the shared border with relief aid. Manny Espinoza, Executive Director of Stop Hunger Now Peru, coordinated with his Program Manager, Erick Ayala, to quickly fill their truck to capacity with meals and started the journey north.
Scenes of the destruction captured by Erick as he arrived in Ecuador.
After a 36 hour journey which included 2 roadside breakdowns, Erick arrived in Manta, Ecuador — a seaside city of approximately 200,000 residents. After speaking with the city mayor and local authorities and learning that over 2,000 families in the city lost their homes, they determined a system for distributing the aid that would benefit the most vulnerable, including those shelterless families first. The meals have been successfully received and utilized by those families as well as other survivors of the disaster.
Stop Hunger Now is committed to both domestic and international crisis response and relief from famine, natural and manmade disasters, and health epidemics. These situations are critical and time wasted can result in lives lost. A portion of all meals packaged annually are set aside as pre-positioned aid, ready for immediate deployment in the event of future crises. In conjunction with partners on the ground, we are continuing to assess the specific needs and means available to deliver aid and healing to the people of Ecuador. We will update you with specific opportunities to assist as they are determined.