Ecuador receives the highest number of refugees in Latin America. Ninety-eight percent are Colombians fleeing conflict, poor, socially fractured, and with limited access to safety nets. Over 70 percent of asylum seekers who cross the border are in need of food assistance, unable to meet their basic food needs or establish new livelihoods.
The 2014 Joint Assessment Mission estimated that 1,300 Colombians enter Ecuador each month. Thirty percent of new arrivals do not approach the Directorate of Refugees
for lack of knowledge about asylum processes and fear of deportation, among other reasons; thus they remain invisible. Sixty percent of asylum-seekers settle in poor, urban
areas in the interior of the country with the remainder in isolated rural communities, and have limited access to basic services. Insecurity, along with competition for resources
and social services, creates tensions between Colombians and Ecuadorians.
PRRO 200701 supports the Government of Ecuador’s refugee integration and migration policies, as well as food security and nutrition goals. It will contribute to Strategic
Objectives 1, 2, and 3 with the following specific objectives: improve the food consumption and dietary diversity of refugees, new asylum seekers, and the most vulnerable Colombians and Ecuadorians; rebuild livelihoods and the food security of Colombian refugees and vulnerable Ecuadorians, with a special focus on women’s economic empowerment.
Through conditional electronic vouchers WFP will improve the food security and dietary diversity of vulnerable people affected by the conflict in Colombia, embedding
gender and protection in all activities. WFP will orient its operational capacity to: a) identify interventions that provide livelihood solutions for Colombians in Ecuador; b) empower women and increase decision making; c) reduce tensions and integrate refugees in Ecuadorian communities; and d) leverage purchasing power and stimulate local markets.
The PRRO will begin January 2015 and reach 184,000 beneficiaries.