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At least 150,000 children affected by Ecuador earthquake – UNICEF

Survivors of the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit the city of Pedernales, Ecuador on Saturday are treated at a Red Cross station on April 17, 2016.

NEW YORK/ GENEVA/PANAMA CITY/QUITO, 19 April 2016 – At least 150,000 children are affected by the April 16 earthquake in Ecuador, according to initial UNICEF estimates.
“We are in a race against time to protect children from disease and other risks common in such emergencies,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador.

According to preliminary government reports, the earthquake damaged 119 schools, affecting 88,000 children. Some 805 buildings have been destroyed and 608 have been damaged. Two hospitals have entirely collapsed in Portoviejo and Chone.
In some of the worst hit areas, mudslides are causing further damage to infrastructure and hindering access of relief teams and supplies. Some cities are still without full power and only 40 per cent of communication lines are working.
UNICEF is concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in the coastal areas – which are already considered hotspots for Zika, Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya.
UNICEF teams are in Pedernales and Esmeraldas, two of the hardest hit areas, assessing children’s needs and coordinating the response. 
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.

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For further information, please contact:
Andrea Apolo, UNICEF Ecuador, aapolo@unicef.org; + 593 99 487 534
Marisol Quintero, UNICEF Regional Office in Panama, mquintero@unicef.org; +507 656 92718
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, nmekki@unicef.org; + 1917 209 1804
Christophe Boulierac, UNICEF Geneva, cboulierac@unicef.org





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