Ecuador WFP
WFP is providing emergency food assistance for Venezuelans as they arrive in Ecuador.
World Food Program

Key Developments

USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) are responding to a complex emergency stemming from an influx of people fleeing an economic and political crisis in Venezuela to neighboring countries, including BrazilColombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The Government of Ecuador (GoE) announced on August 14 that Venezuelans seeking to enter the country would be required to request a humanitarian visa online through the GoE Ministry of Foreign Affairs; previously, the GoE only required Venezuelans to have a national identification card to enter Ecuador. From August 23 to 25, more than 11,000 Venezuelans entered Ecuador through the Rumichaca crossing, along the Colombia–Ecuador border, prior to the implementation of the new measure on August 26. In response, the Colombian Red Cross and GoC officials distributed food, safe drinking water, and winterization supplies, while UNHCR provided relief commodities, to populations at the border. As of August 28, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies reported shelter gaps at Rumichaca due to the recent influx of individuals in the area.

From July 16 to 19, USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) staff traveled to Ecuador’s Cuenca and Lago Agrio cities, as well as the country’s capital city of Quito, to meet with relief actors and observe USAID-supported food assistance programming in the country. Relief actors reported that priority needs among Venezuelans arriving in Ecuador include access to food, health care, legal and psychosocial support services, livelihood opportunities, and shelter. Relief actors reported the need for support in obtaining formal migration status in Ecuador and that many Venezuelans experience challenges related to discrimination and xenophobia when seeking employment or housing in the country.

With USAID support, the UN World Food Program (WFP) provided food assistance to approximately 78,700 individuals across 10 Ecuadorian provinces in July. The assistance includes more than 58,600 people—nearly 89 percent of whom were Venezuelan—reached with food vouchers, approximately 16,300 vulnerable Venezuelans provided with one-time emergency food assistance at migration checkpoints, and nearly 3,800 people given hot meals at community kitchens and shelters through WFP sub-partners. An additional $13 million from USAID will enable WFP to continue reaching crisis-affected populations with emergency food assistance in Ecuador.


Deteriorating economic and political conditions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela since 2014 have contributed to increasing humanitarian needs and triggered an influx of Venezuelans into neighboring countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. The UN estimates that 4.3 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2014, with displacement projected to continue during 2019.

In addition to being impacted by the Venezuela Regional Crisis, Ecuador is vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, including earthquakes, forest fires, and volcanic eruptions. In April and May 2016, USAID/OFDA, USAID/FFP, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) coordinated with the Government of Ecuador (GoE) to address humanitarian needs resulting from an April 16 earthquake that severely affected populations in Ecuador’s coastal provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí. The U.S. Government contributed nearly $3 million to the Ecuador earthquake response, including through the provision of critically needed relief supplies and other humanitarian assistance, as well as technical support for search-and-rescue efforts, structural assessments, and air traffic control operations in order to augment the capacity of humanitarian actors to deliver relief items to affected areas.

USAID/OFDA is supporting the Venezuela complex emergency regional response. Please visit our web page for additional information.

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Last updated: September 18, 2019

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