How to Help Ecuador Rebuild After Magnitude-7.8 Earthquake

The country’s strongest temblor in nearly 40 years left hundreds dead and thousands injured.
A woman cries as the search-and-rescue workers on duty go through the rubble of collapsed buildings in Pedernales, Manabi province, Ecuador, on April 17. (Photo: Josep Vecino/Getty Images)
Apr 18, 2016· 2 MIN READ
Alex Janin is an editorial intern at TakePart and a senior at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The death toll in Ecuador rose to 350 on Monday morning following a powerful earthquake that struck 16 miles south of the coastal city of Muisne on Saturday night. The magnitude-7.8 quake, which rocked hundreds of miles of coastal land in the South American country, destroyed buildings and homes and left an estimated 2,000 people injured, according to The New York Times.

Residents of the capital city of Quito, almost 200 miles away from the epicenter, reported feeling the effects of the tremor, as did people in parts of neighboring countries Peru and Colombia.

Large earthquakes aren’t uncommon in Ecuador, which is located on the infamous Ring of Fire, a region of tectonic activity encircling the Pacific. Since 1900, seven magnitude-7 or greater earthquakes have occurred within 155 miles of this earthquake’s epicenter, but Saturday’s quake was the worst in almost four decades, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Ecuadorian government has declared a state of emergency in six of the Andean nation’s 24 provinces.

Rescue crews have been deployed in the areas most traumatized. Here are some of the ways to help from anywhere in the world.

United Nations Refugee Agency

The UNHCR, which provides security and rights to refugees around the world, announced Monday that it will launch an airlift early this week in response to a call for help from the Ecuadorian government. The first aircraft is bound for the capital city of Quito and will bring relief items such as tents, plastic sheets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, and mosquito nets to help alleviate the risk of the Zika virus. The UNHCR aims to help shelter and provide material relief to 40,000 people affected by the earthquake. Responders with the organization have been transporting materials to affected communities since Sunday. If you’d like to donate to the UNHCR, visit its general donation page here.

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UNICEF is known for providing support to the world’s children, including immunizations, educational programs, and emergency relief. But it also responds to more than 250 humanitarian crises annually and already has boots on the ground providing emergency relief in Ecuador. The organization has given aid to victims of recent earthquakes in Nepal, Haiti, the Philippines, and Japan. You can make a tax-deductible donation to UNICEF here.

Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical Christian organization, has recently refurbished a 48-year-old DC-8 jet that can carry 40 tons of emergency supplies and dozens of personnel. It plans to use the plane to send a mobile field hospital with enough space for 100 people. The facility features an on-site pharmacy, an operating room that can support surgeries, and in-patient beds. Thirty medical staff who will treat injured victims will accompany the mobile hospital. Samaritan’s Purse also deployed a seven-person disaster-assistance response team to join trained personnel already on location. To donate to the Samaritan’s Purse relief efforts, visit its page here.

Save the Children

This organization operates globally to help give children a “healthy start.” Along with providing services such as educational programming and nutritional programs, the international nongovernmental organization also deploys emergency and disaster-response teams around the world. Save the Children has set aside a 2016 Ecuador earthquake fund that will help children and families affected by the disaster should the organization launch a response. If not, donations will be redirected to support victims of other crises. To donate or learn more about Save the Children’s Ecuador earthquake fund, click here.


The fundraising platform CrowdRise has teamed up with United Airlines to source donations for four charitable organizations providing aid relief to victims of the Ecuador earthquake: American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Airlink, and Operation USA.