CHICAGO, IL (April 20, 2016) — Covenant World Relief (CWR), in partnership with IPEE (Iglesia del Pacto Evangelico Ecuador, the Covenant Church of Ecuador), continues to respond in Ecuador following the 7.8 earthquake on April 16. An aftershock measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale was felt Wednesday morning causing more fear and loss to the northwestern coast.
The National Prosecutors Office puts the death toll at 525 as of April 20. More than 200 persons are still listed as missing by the Defense Department.
Issues of flooding and avalanches occurring during the week leading up to the initial earthquake have impeded relief efforts. The most urgent needs are water, food, and medical supplies.
Eugenio and Pia Restrepo, the Covenant’s regional coordinators for Latin America and the Caribbean, are in Ecuador providing training, care, and support to IPEE and missionaries in the area. The Restrepos sent a request to Cindy Hoover, Covenant missionary in Mexico, to help with some guidelines for vaccines and preventive health care for the people visiting the affected area and received an immediate response.
Help has come from several Covenant institutions. The Hindustani Covenant Church in India, the first to respond to CWR about the devastation in Ecuador, has given a generous gift to IPEE. The North Park University community is also collaborating to join the relief response.
The Covenant Church of Ecuador and FACE (Fundacion Adelanto Comunitario Ecuatoriano) have joined the Christian Committee of Emergencies, an Ecuadorian group of Evangelical churches, joining forces to plan and make the most of the resources they have. People within IPEE have donated their time, vehicles, and expertise in the areas of counseling, spiritual care, government contacts, finances, and property to help with the relief efforts.
Two small trucks from FACE/IPEE arrived at Montecristi, a town of 30,000 affected by the earthquake, with water, food, medicine, and other supplies. A letter of recommendation from the mayor of the town protected the trucks from assault, which usually happens in these kind of emergencies. Two additional trucks are being sent with hygiene items from Guayaquil.
Those who would like to make a donation toward relief efforts in Ecuador can go to the Covenant World Relief giving link. Also, checks designated for Ecuador earthquake relief can be mailed to: Covenant World Relief, 8303 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631.