The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the global humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, provided food assistance to 16,584 vulnerable families in COVID-19 affected provinces in Ecuador.
Pregnant women, lactating moms, and families with children under five years of age received food stamps, redeemable through a chain of supermarkets in the South American country.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, ADRA has mobilized resources in Ecuador and pledged its solidarity to provide food assistance to thousands of affected families,” Javier Espejo, ADRA’s country director in Ecuador, said. “Thanks to the support of the World Food Programme and the United States Agency for International Development, we have contributed to improving the nutrition of children and their families through healthy and nutritious food, the dissemination of education and prevention messages.
“This assistance came at a time when families needed it most. I express my gratitude to God, to our donors, and the entire ADRA team for allowing us to fulfill our mission.”
ADRA launched the project through funding assistance from the WFP and USAID. The international humanitarian agency has established alliances with these trusted partners to deliver monetary cash transfers through nutritional support vouchers to families in need in Ecuador and other communities around the world. Beneficiary families from the Ecuadorian communities of Pichincha, Manabí, Los Ríos, Guayas, and Santa Elena received a redeemable food coupon valued at US$240.
“When ADRA called me to pick up the food voucher, I felt like crying,” Alexandra Velasco, food assistance program recipient, said. “This food assistance came in at an unexpected moment. Now I feel very grateful because I still have groceries in my small fridge, and I have food to give to my children.”
According to the Ministry of Public Health in Ecuador, as of mid-February 2021, the country had accumulated more than 268,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 15,000 people had died from the virus.
ADRA plans to continue implementing humanitarian assistance projects to support vulnerable communities during the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The relief agency will continue working to promote preventive measures against COVID-19 through health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security, shelter, improved livelihoods, and human rights protection initiatives to help low-income and under-resourced families and children.