The republic of Ecuador is located in the north-west of South America.
Around 17 million people live in the country, with the majority speaking Spanish, Quechua, or other indigenous languages. The two largest cities are Guayaquil and the capital Quito.
Ecuador has a rich and diverse history. As a developing country, Ecuador has to cope with many natural hazards, while fighting malnutrition and poverty.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Ecuador since 1963.
Although Ecuador has experienced economic growth over the past years, food insecurity is still recurrent, and 23% of children under five suffer from acute hunger.
Parents in Ecuador struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. And thus, 25% of children experience stunting (low height for age), which is a result of undernutrition.
Malnutrition and food insecurity are caused by poverty, which in turn can have many causes, like climate risks.
Ecuador has been experiencing a stable economic growth for several years now, thanks to government’s efforts and national programs.
However, many people still live in poverty in the country. 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. In rural areas, this percentage can go up to 40%. Children and young people are most vulnerable as they often lack access to school, education and healthcare.
The country of Ecuador is at risk of several natural hazards. Not only floods, but also landslides, droughts, and earthquakes. Furthermore, there is a risk of volcanic activity. Another specific phenomenon for Ecuador is El Niño, a climate pattern that causes irregular and intense climate changes.
All these natural hazards can have severe impacts and consequences, to which children are even more vulnerable, as they risk losing their home or family.