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2014 UNHCR country operations profile - Ecuador

| Overview |

Working environment

  • In 2012, a new refugee decree (no. 1182) was enacted in Ecuador, which confirmed a growing tendency towards more restrictive asylum procedures in the country.

  • With the decree, the broader refugee definition of the Cartagena Declaration was eliminated and admissibility procedures became more restrictive. The current regulations require asylum requests to be presented at the Refugee Directorate offices within 15 days from the date of arrival in the country. However, due to a lack of information and difficulties for asylum-seekers from remote border areas in accessing Refugee Directorate offices, many asylum-seekers are not able to present their claims within this limited period. Even those who are able to submit their request also face additional procedural challenges, which often result in their claims being denied.

  • National security issues have remained high on the political agenda in Ecuador since 2010. Refugee issues are perceived negatively, and are sometimes associated with the growing crime rate and insecurity in the country. Negative stereotypes jeopardize refugees' social integration. Although there are a high number of new asylum applications, the overall recognition rate has dropped dramatically.

  • A large gap remains between progressive constitutional norms regarding the integration of people on the move and their actual access to rights. It is hoped that UNHCR's Comprehensive Solutions Initiative (CSI), which aims to support the Government's efforts to find durable solutions for refugees, will help to address this gap.

  • In 2014-2015, it is anticipated that the support provided for refugees hosted in Ecuador will include access to: education, the health care system, banking and other financial management resources, a range of specific government programmes and employment.

People of concern

Ecuador hosts the largest refugee population in Latin America, with over 54,800 refugees officially recognized by the Government as of September 2013. An estimated 160,000 individuals have requested asylum in the country since 2000. The vast majority of refugees in Ecuador (98 per cent) are Colombians who have left their country over the last decade due to the internal conflict. New arrivals continue to reach Ecuador at a rate of 1,000 per month. Sixty per cent of refugees and asylum-seekers settle in marginal and poor urban areas, mainly in Quito and Guayaquil and other cities, while around 40 per cent reside in isolated regions with limited basic services and infrastructure, along the northern border.

Planning figures

UNHCR 2014 planning figures for Ecuador
TYPE OF POPULATION ORIGIN Dec 2013 Dec 2014 Dec 2015
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 142,820 63,980 149,820 60,980 161,820 62,980
Refugees Colombia 55,840 55,840 57,800 57,800 59,760 59,760
Various 1,140 1,140 1,180 1,180 1,220 1,220
People in refugee-like situations Colombia 78,840 - 88,840 - 98,840 -
Asylum-seekers Various 7,000 7,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000

| Response |

Needs and strategies

UNHCR's strategy in Ecuador for 2014-2015 aims at expanding protection space, strengthening the comprehensive framework for durable solutions and mitigating negative perceptions among the public that lead to discrimination and xenophobia. The protection space will be expanded through legislative, normative and procedural reforms of the asylum process in coordination with the Refugee Directorate; the provision of legal assistance, through specialized partners and the Ombudsman's Offices, throughout the country; border monitoring; and special assistance provided to women and children and to victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). UNHCR seeks to strengthen the comprehensive framework for durable solutions through: the promotion of peaceful coexistence, community self-management projects, livelihood and self-reliance opportunities and targeted support to people with specific needs to achieve their local integration. Activities aimed at promoting durable solutions include vocational training, the provision of grants, strengthening of community networks, and the facilitation of access to employment.

| Implementation |

Coordination

UNHCR will continue to work with the Refugee Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, as well as with the Ombudsman's Offices throughout the country. A process of retention and selection of implementing partners has been carried out in order to ensure the quality of delivery and results in the different areas of intervention. UNHCR also coordinates with other UN agencies, government entities at both the central and local levels, as well as with non-governmental organizations.

2014 UNHCR partners in Ecuador
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Ombudsman's Office, Refugee Directorate - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility
NGOs: Comité Permanente por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos, Corporación Mujer a Mujer, Fundación Ambiente y Sociedad, Fondo Ecuatoriano Populorum Progressio, Federación de Mujeres de Sucumbíos, Foundation for the Refugee Education Trust, Fundación Tarabita, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Hogar de Cristo, Jesuit Refugee Service, Misión Scalabriniana, Oxfam (Intermón and Italy)
Operational partners
Government agencies: Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, National Assembly
NGOs: CARE, Save the Children
Others: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), IOM, OHCHR, Pan-American Health Organization/WHO, UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, Universidad PUCESE, WFP

| Financial information |

In recent years, the financial requirements for UNHCR's operation in Ecuador have been relatively constant. In 2014, Ecuador's financial requirements are set at USD 20.9 million, covering basic assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers. Additional funding will be necessary to achieve durable solutions, particularly through the Comprehensive Solutions Initiative (CSI).

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2014-2105


UNHCR contact information

The UNHCR Representative in Ecuador
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative in Ecuador
Street Address Avenida Amazonas 2889 y la Granja, Edificio Naciones Unidas,, Piso 1, Quito, Ecuador
Mailing Address Avenida Amazonas 2889 y la Granja, Edificio Naciones Unidas, Piso 1, Quito, Ecuador
Telephone 593 2 2460 272
Facsimile 593 2 246 0275
Email ecuqu@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + -5
Working Hours
Monday:08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday:08:30 - 17:30
Wednesday:08:30 - 17:30
Thursday:08:30 - 17:30
Friday:08:30 - 17:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
03 March 2014, Carnival
04 March 2014, Carnival
18 April 2014, Good Friday
01 May 2014, Dia Del Trabajo
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
10 October 2014, Independencia de Guyaquil
03 November 2014, Independencia de Cuenca
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Field Office in Tulcán
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Field Office in Tulcán
Street Address Calle Ayacucho entre Sucre y Olmedo, Edificio del Seguro Social, 5to. piso, Ofic. 8, Tulcan, Ecuador
Mailing Address Calle Ayacucho entre Sucre y Olmedo, Edificio del Seguro Social, 5to. piso, Ofic. 8, Tulcan, Ecuador
Telephone 593 6 2962 173
Facsimile 593 6 2962 173
Email ecutu@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + -5
Working Hours
Monday:08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday:08:30 - 17:30
Wednesday:08:30 - 17:30
Thursday:08:30 - 17:30
Friday:08:30 - 17:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
03 March 2014, Carnival
04 March 2014, Carnival
18 April 2014, Good Friday
01 May 2014, Dia Del Trabajo
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
10 October 2014, Independencia de Guyaquil
03 November 2014, Independencia de Cuenca
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Head of Field Office in Ibarra
Style of Address The UNHCR Field Office in Ibarra
Street Address Luis Toro Moreno 128, entre Calixto Miranda y Bartolomé García, Ibarra, Ecuador
Mailing Address Luis Toro Moreno 128, entre Calixto Miranda y Bartolomé García, Ibarra, Ecuador
Telephone 593 6 2603 434
Facsimile 593 6 2604 957
Email ecuib@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + -5
Working Hours
Monday:8:30 - 17:30
Tuesday:8:30 - 17:30
Wednesday:8:30 - 17:30
Thursday:8:30 - 17:30
Friday:8:30 - 17:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
03 March 2014, Carnival
04 March 2014, Carnival
18 April 2014, Good Friday
01 May 2014, Dia Del Trabajo
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
10 October 2014, Independencia de Guyaquil
03 November 2014, Independencia de Cuenca
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Representative in Ecuador
Style of Address The UNHCR Representative in Ecuador
Street Address Barbizotty 1105 y Simón Plaza Torres, Esmeraldas, Ecuador
Mailing Address Barbizotty 1105 y Simón Plaza Torres, Esmeraldas, Ecuador
Telephone 593 6 272 6232
Facsimile 693 6 272 6232 ext. 101
Email ecues@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + -5
Working Hours
Monday:08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday:08:30 - 17:30
Wednesday:08:30 - 17:30
Thursday:08:30 - 17:30
Friday:08:30 - 17:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
03 March 2014, Carnival
04 March 2014, Carnival
18 April 2014, Good Friday
01 May 2014, Dia Del Trabajo
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
10 October 2014, Independencia de Guyaquil
03 November 2014, Independencia de Cuenca
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
The UNHCR Sub-Office in Lago Agrio
Style of Address The UNHCR Head of Sub-Office in Lago Agrio
Street Address Guayas y Loja esquina, Lago Agrio, Ecuador
Mailing Address Guayas y Loja esquina, Lago Agrio, Ecuador
Telephone 593 6 2820212
Facsimile 593 6 2820212
Email ecula@unhcr.org
Time Zone GMT + -5
Working Hours
Monday:8:30 - 17:30
Tuesday:8:30 - 17:30
Wednesday:8:30 - 17:30
Thursday:8:30 - 17:30
Friday:8:30 - 17:30
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
03 March 2014, Carnival
04 March 2014, Carnival
18 April 2014, Good Friday
01 May 2014, Dia Del Trabajo
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
10 October 2014, Independencia de Guyaquil
03 November 2014, Independencia de Cuenca
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Ecuador [1]
Refugees [2] 123,133
Asylum Seekers [3]
More info 12,454
Figure for asylum-seekers refers to mid-2013 in the absence of updated information available.
Returned Refugees [4] 1
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 135,588
Originating from Ecuador [1]
Refugees [2] 707
Asylum Seekers [3] 2,343
Returned Refugees [4] 1
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 3,051
Government Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014 0
2013 0
2012 0
2011 0
2010 0
2009 85,000
2008 0
2007 0
2006 0
2005 0
2004 0
2003 0
2002 0
2001 0
2000 0

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Angelina Jolie revisits refugees in Ecuador

Just ahead of World Refugee Day, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Angelina Jolie, visits vulnerable Colombian refugees living in northern Ecuador.

Angelina Jolie revisits refugees in Ecuador

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visits Ecuador

Angelina Jolie, in Ecuador this past weekend, on her first field visit as the new Special Envoy of UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

In her previous role as a UN refugee agency Goodwill Ambassador, Jolie has conducted more than 40 field visits over the last decade. This is her third time in Ecuador - home to the largest refugee population in Latin America.

Ecuador currently hosts some 56,000 refugees and 21,000 asylum-seekers. It continues to receive 1,300 new applications for refugee status each month from people fleeing Colombia. Many live in remote and poor areas of the country close to the Colombian border.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visits Ecuador

Ecuador: Guterres visits EcuadorPlay video

Ecuador: Guterres visits Ecuador

UNHCR chief António Guterres visits Ecuador ahead of World Refugee Day and praises the country for hosting refugees.
Angelina Jolie in EcuadorPlay video

Angelina Jolie in Ecuador

Angelina Jolie meets Colombian refugees in Ecuador during her first field visit as Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.
Ecuador: Left BehindPlay video

Ecuador: Left Behind

People continue to flee to Ecuador to escape violence in neighbouring Colombia. Some have to make tough choices while seeking safety.
Angelina Jolie Returns to EcuadorPlay video

Angelina Jolie Returns to Ecuador

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie returned to northern Ecuador for the first time in eight years, meeting refugees from Colombia.
A Floating Clinic for RefugeesPlay video

A Floating Clinic for Refugees

Medical care is often a luxury that few refugees can afford or access. A new floating clinic launched by local authorities and UNHCR will now bring health care to refugees and locals in a remote corner of Ecuador.