At the age of 15 Paula (not her real name) escaped the violence in Colombia and moved to the Province of Esmeraldas in Ecuador, in the hope of a better life. But, after a few years of living in Ecuador, she had to escape violence once again, this time from her boyfriend’s abuse.
Tired of suffering, Paula and her two children fled the domestic violence, without food or work.
She heard about the assistance WFP offers to vulnerable refugees and Ecuadorian host communities in the Esmeraldas Province. Paula was able to sign up to receive cash-based transfers in the form of an electronic voucher, made possible by donors like USAID and ECHO. Now, Paula can use her voucher at a local store to buy food for herself and her children.
With the help of the store administration, WFP ensures Paula purchases nutritious and fresh food. Her voucher is recharged monthly after she attends training sessions on topics such as nutrition, hygiene, and the prevention of gender-based violence.
In their small home, Paula and her children can now enjoy nutritious, home-cooked meals together. Thanks to her own strength and WFP’s assistance, Paula does not need to worry about having to escape anymore and is building a better life for herself and her children.
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.
For the latest news releases, stories, photos and publications from Ecuador visit the WFP Ecuador newsroom.