More on Ecuador

This page describes the current issues in Ecuador and what the World Food Programme (WFP) is doing in Ecuador.

Ecuador is a country of great social, cultural, and geographical diversity located between Colombia and Peru. Although the Ecuadorian government has worked hard to reduce poverty in recent years, the country continues to face critical issues such as chronic malnutrition and gender-based violence.

Adding to these inherent problems, a steady flow of Colombian refugees enter Ecuador each month, fleeing violence in their own country. Around 84 percent of these refugees do not plan to return to Colombia, giving Ecuador the largest influx of refugees in Latin America. Compounding these issues, Ecuador is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change and to natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions, flooding, droughts, and earthquakes.

The World Food Programme (WFP) works with the Ecuadorian government to help families and communities at high risk of food insecurity. Our work leaves a lasting impact on the lives of the people we help by training them on good nutrition and healthy eating habits. Our humanitarian work in Ecuador is supported by our own research studies.

What are the current issues in Ecuador

Facts about Ecuador

  • Population: 14.5 million people.
  • Around 42 percent of indigenous children under five are stunted.

Ecuador is currently facing a number of challenges, including:

  • Helping Colombia’s Refugees And Vulnerable Ecuadorian Host Communities

    WFP complements the Ecuadorian government’s social policy by providing food assistance to Colombian refugees and asylum seekers, as well as to vulnerable Ecuadorian families, through an electronic voucher scheme. Participants use their voucher to buy fresh, nutritious foods at local stores and attend monthly training sessions, where they learn about healthy eating habits, gender equity, and good hygiene and sanitation practices. We also work with small farmer associations, linking them to WFP food assistance activities and to social protection programmes run by the Ecuadorian government.

  • Building Resilience Against Climate Change

    We work with the Ecuadorian government and with 50 communities in the most vulnerable areas of the province of Pichincha and the Jubones river basin, raising awareness of the effects of climate change on food and nutrition security and strengthening the ability of local communities to respond to these changes. The project supports community members, encouraging participation in educational workshops and helping them decide on specific measures they can take to cope with their changing environment. 

  • Preparing For And Responding To Emergencies

    Together with Ecuador’s Secretariat of Risk Management (SGR) and the National Decentralised Risk Management System, we have developed tools to measure the impact of disasters on the food and nutrition security of affected communities. SGR and WFP also conduct joint training and workshops to prepare the country’s local and national institutions to respond to natural and man-made disasters.

What the World Food Programme (WFP) is doing in Ecuador

The World Food Programme In Ecuador

  • WFP has been active in Ecuador since 1964.
  • Assistance to Ecuador’s Colombian refugees began in 2003.
  • We aim to assist 184,000 Colombian refugees and vulnerable Ecuadorian families during 2015-2018.

We work alongside the Ecuadorian government and seek to improve the food and nutrition security of vulnerable people in Ecuador, reduce the risks associated with climate change and natural disasters, and promote the integration of Colombian refugees and asylum seekers into Ecuadorian society. All projects are designed to strengthen local and national capacities. We also carry out studies to discover the most effective food assistance models, the results of which translate to improvements in how we can help the most vulnerable people.

Joint United Nations Programmes

Strengthening local capacities for peace and development through a human security approach in the northern border zone of Ecuador:

Strengthening local food systems and building local capacities to improve production systems and increase access to safe, nutritious foods:

World Food Programme partners in Ecuador

WFP cannot fight global hunger and poverty alone. These are our partners in Ecuador.

Want to know more about WFP partners? Visit WFP's Partnerships section.