Scalabrini Mission
Project Category:
These two young girls are sisters who are seeking refugee like many others. They have faced many difficulties since they have been in Ecuador.

Photo Caption: These two young girls are sisters who are seeking refugee like many others. They have faced many difficulties since they have been in Ecuador.

Since COVID-19 began, it has created a challenging environment for many migrants and refugees in Ecuador. With a fragile health system and preventive isolation measures impacting their lives, it is hard for the people in Ecuador to have better living conditions. Over time, it is getting harder and harder for the migrants and refugees to meet their basic human needs of shelter and health care. Forced evictions have been on the rise as of late and is making the situation worse. Not to mention, those who are women and children are becoming more exposed to exploitation, abuse and violence.

During the years 2020 and 2021, Ecuador had a high number of international refugees and migrants from Latin America. Due to many years of armed conflict, there was an increase in Colombians fleeing to Ecuador. In addition, around 2 million migrants from Venezuela came over to Ecuador as well. The Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and migrants calculated that around 451,093 citizens from Venezuela migrated. This number only accounts for those who legally crossed the border. With COVID-19 causing the border to be closed, that actual number may be larger. In February 2021, the Ecuador sent military to its southern border to prevent these crossings. This created an influx of families living on the streets, parks and sidewalks with a high risk of discrimination.

The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) with the help from the Scalabrini Mission in Ecuador (MSC) has been helping Venezuelan and Colombian migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees get protection. The MSC have been providing psychosocial support activities in Carchi and Imbabura. These two places are northern border provinces. With the help from The Father’s Table Foundation, around 5,000 migrants and refugees have benefitted from the MSC’s assistance. The MSC & CRS have been able to provide shelter and humanitarian assistance to 2,427 people. The shelters are prioritizing families with a lot of children and families led by mothers. In addition to providing shelter, 262 families were able to get financial assistance.

Going forward, the MSC & CRS want to continue its current efforts of providing shelter and financial assistance. In addition to these efforts, they would like to strengthen 53 groups (893 members) and give out 56 loans. These loans will help support and/or start up activates to generate income. Legal and case assistance will be provided to 1,237 migrants and refugees. Despite the incredible difficulties that COVID-19 has caused, the project is still moving forward with providing better living conditions for those migrating and seeking refuge.