The agreement was signed by Enrique Burbinski, Director of HIAS Latin America and Deborah Hines, WFP Representantive for Ecuador.
QUITO. - The World Food Programme (WFP) has signed an agreement with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) for delivery of food assistance in the provinces of Carchi, Esmeraldas, Imbabura, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. Beneficiaries will include Colombian families seeking refuge in Ecuador and Ecuadorian families living in vulnerable communities hosting refugees.
This agreement will benefit refugees, like Flor, who came from Colombia to Esmeraldas fleeing violence in her country. Her sons and a nephew live with her. At 52 it is difficult for her to find a job. Tears fill her eyes when she thinks about her past life: "In Colombia, I had a job, my own house, and a husband. That was there. I’m here as you see me." Flor receives food rations from WFP. This alleviates the needs of her family, and she hopes her children and her nephew will have a better life than the one she has lived.
WFP, which supports Ecuador since 1964, started work in the northern border in 2004, providing food assistance to relieve the most pressing needs of vulnerable families. The agreement between WFP and HIAS extends the work they have done together since 2010 to serve a monthly average of 12,000 beneficiaries. Currently, WFP provides food rations and vouchers in many local communities.
The Ecuadorian government and local governments in the northern border are working for the food and nutrition security of both Colombian refugees and the Ecuadorian vulnerable population that live in communities hosting refugees. In coordination with the Refugee Directorate of the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry, WFP assists these efforts through its relief and recovery operations. The most recent one began in July 2011 and will provide assistance to a total of 120,100 people in three years.
Donations that make this work been possible come from Spain, Brazil, United States, Luxembourg and Canada.