The Government of Japan has committed $550,000 dollars to UNICEF, to help the children, adolescents and their families who were affected by the 7.8 intensity earthquake that shook Ecuador last 16 April.

The quake hit the northeastern coast of Ecuador, affecting 720,000 persons, of whom an estimated 250,000 are children.

The Japanese Government’s contribution will mainly be used for the Water and Sanitation Program, led by UNICEF with other humanitarian partners, to help provide safe water, sanitation facilities and washbasins for 50 affected schools and health centers in rural zones where the most vulnerable population groups live.

This aid will benefit 5600 community members, 670 of them children under age five, and 1680 ages 5 to 17. The main activities regarding health centers will focus on repairing the water system, mainly using  designs  with  reservoir  tanks.  Other  activities  include  developing  and  implementing  a communication campaign to raise community consciousness about the importance of hand-washing.

Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in Ecuador, feels the Japanese Government’s support is crucial at this time and shows the international community’s commitment to responding to Ecuador’s emergency. “This contribution will be received with profound gratitude by the people of Ecuador”, he said.