By: Valeria Ricciulli
The devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador on April 16 has killed 655 people and injured almost 5,000- according to Ecuadorian newspaper, El Comercio. Several international organizations and emergency responders from around the world are at the scene helping survivors and rescuing people from the rubble in the most affected coastal provinces, Manabí and Esmeraldas, in the country’s northwest region.
Those who survived the earthquake are in pressing need of essentials such as drinking water, nonperishable food, baby formula, diapers, and pads. But how do you get these items to the hands of those affected? Make sure you donate to an organization that is already at the field, and that you trust regarding the way they use their funds.
“People are very scared. Many have had to leave their homes. In zones where homes did not collapse, people are erecting makeshift shelters on higher grounds; they are scared to sleep indoors or near the ocean.” – Concha Fernández, Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Here is a lists of trusted organizations and institutions you could donate to:*
- Ecuadorian Red Cross: The organization is already at the field helping survivors, however, we’d advise you to donate directly to the Ecuadorian Red Cross using this link to make sure that your contribution is used directly by those who are working and volunteering in the country.
— CRUZ ROJA ECUADOR (@cruzrojaecuador) April 26, 2016
2. The Ecuadorian Embassy: If you’re not a fan of donating online, your local Ecuadorian Consulate should be receiving donations. For instance, the New York City Ecuadorian Consulate is receiving items and has sites in all five boroughs for donors to drop off essentials such as toilet paper, tampons, pads, rice, oil, granola bars- etc. Find a full list of items here.
— Fernando Altamirano (@fernyaltamirano) April 26, 2016
3. UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund receives donations year round and for every country in the world where they’re located- but if you’re willing to make a contribution specifically for Ecuador, use this link.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) April 26, 2016
*Even though Doctors Without Borders (MSF) doesn’t have a project in Ecuador, their teams from Colombia and Mexico are at the scene providing medical assistance. MSF is not included in the list because they don’t have an exclusive fund for the current Ecuador emergency, but we recommend it to make a general donation. They are very transparent about the way they use their funds.
— MSF International (@MSF) April 25, 2016