In 2011, Ecuador hosted the seventh largest number of refugees in the world and the largest in the region: approximately 100,000 people, more than half of them officially recognized and registered. A new Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation started on July 2011, to last three years. The total projected number of beneficiaries is 120,100.
The PRRO supports integrated relief and recovery activities in eight provinces, with emphasis on the Northern border. Participants include asylum seeking families, refugees and vulnerable members of Ecuadorian host communities. Aligned with Government priorities, it leverages action at provincial and municipal level around a set of specific food and nutritional interventions to respond to their food security, nutrition and protection needs. It promotes integration, with a view to diffuse tensions between refugees and Ecuadorian communities, and a strong gender focus. Some of its innovative modalities are vouchers and local purchases.
Activities include food transfers and vouchers to purchase nutritious foods; training on nutrition, hygiene, safe water and gender based violence responses; linking of local small farmers with community school lunch activities, and protection of water sources.
Supporting Local Government Capacities to Improve Food and Nutrition Security in Ecuador (Trust Fund 200436):
WFP aims to generate evidence-based food and nutrition security models which are cost-effective and environmentally sound. Through a participatory process with local governments, WFP will support local capabilities to implement innovative nutrition packages to improve the dietary diversity and micronutrient status of children, women and vulnerable groups. The project will catalyze small holder participation to leverage public and private markets, in particular local safety-net programmes. Targeted provinces: Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Pichincha, and Santa Elena.
From January to April 2012, Ecuador experienced heavy rainfall and flooding with 110,000 people affected and an impact on food and nutrition security. In March an IR-EMOP was approved to deliver food assistance to 25,000 people; a total of 5,600 rations were distributed with the National Risk Management Secretariat in Los Ríos, Guayas, Manabí and Esmeraldas provinces.
Cash & Voucher Project:
The Cash & Voucher pilot project carried out in Ecuador to evaluate three food assistance modalities –cash, vouchers and food- among vulnerable urban populations revealed that vouchers have several advantages over cash transfers or food deliveries. This study is executed in coordination with the Government and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in the northern border, and it included refugees and vulnerable Ecuadorian populations from the host communities.
Project for Adaptation to Climate Change (Trust Fund 200357):
A project for adaptation to climate change, prepared at Government request, was approved and funded by the Adaptation Fund. The project "Enhancing Resilience of Communities to the Adverse Effects of Climate Change on Food Security in the Pichincha Province and the Jubones River Basin" is implemented by the Ministry of the Environment with WFP support.
An agreement was signed with UN Women for mainstreaming gender in all WFP projects, especially in the effort to foster food and nutrition security by enhancing community resilience in response to climate change impacts in the Andean countries.
Emergency Preparedness and Response:
The Ecuador Country Office is cooperating with various partners in emergency preparedness and response at the country and local levels including the private sector. The National Secretariat for Risk Management is the main partner with whom a cooperation agreement was signed in 2010.