Ecuador

Forced to free violence in Colombia, Tomas Bravo Alberto Zambrano and his family started over in Ecuador with the help of a CRS' partner, the Scalabrinian Mission. Photo by Óscar Leiva for CRS

Forced to free violence in Colombia, Tomas Bravo Alberto Zambrano and his family started over in Ecuador with the help of a CRS' partner, the Scalabrinian Mission. Photo by Óscar Leiva for CRS

Ecuador hosts the largest number of refugees in Latin America. Most are Colombians who fled the armed conflict that began in their country in the 1960s. An estimated 171,840 people need international protection, but only 59,707 have been granted official refugee status. Refugees have settled mainly in the provinces of Pichincha, Sucumbíos, Esmeraldas, Carchi and Imbabura. The people who suffer most as refugees are children, women, indigenous people and Afro-Colombians, the poor and people with disabilities.

In partnership with the Scalabrinian Mission, we work with Colombian refugees and representatives of the communities where they resettle.

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Stats

Population:15,654,411 (July 2014 est.)
Size:109,484 sq. mi.; slightly smaller than Nevada
People Served:35,866

History

Catholic Relief Services began working in Ecuador in 1955, providing food, medicine, clothes and school nutrition programs. Over the years, however, development indicators showed that charity and direct assistance were not breaking the cycle of poverty.

In response, the Catholic Church began working with indigenous communities to strengthen local organizations, improve access to land and introduce new farming methods. Such initiatives proved that sustainable development requires integrated economic, social and organizational programs. We have built on that approach, serving vulnerable and marginalized communities in Ecuador with humanitarian aid, natural disaster preparation and response; rural, health and childhood development programs and microfinance. In 2009, CRS decided to change its strategic focus in the country. We now focus on aid to and integration of Colombian refugees as well as sustainable livelihoods projects along the northern border.

Partners

Cáritas Sucumbíos and Cáritas Ecuador
Scalabrinian Mission
Kallary Warmi Muskuy Wankurishka

Programs

Civil Society and Governance
Disaster Response
Peacebuilding
Other


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