The effects of the COVID-19 on the economy of families of girls and children

Tatiana, 13, lives in Playas, south of the coastal region of Ecuador. She, like many girls and boys, lives in the company of her family in voluntary isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 17, the Ecuadorian government, to prevent the spread of the virus, declared mandatory isolation for the entire Ecuadorian population. This measure involved suspending all face-to-face activities, both educational and work concerning, except those related to the food supply service or delivery, production of food, and sanitary and health businesses. Since that date Tatiana has not left home, therefore she misses her family and friends. “In this quarantine we spend it together as a family and carry out household chores such as cooking, washing dishes and sweeping… in my free time I try to continue learning” Tatiana tells us.

Tatiana stood looking out of gate.
Tatiana’s family is currently supported by the few savings they have and the financial contribution of a close relative.

Tatiana’s father is dedicated to mechanics and her mother to sewing, whose income depends on the daily work of the profession. This activity, of course, is paralyzed by the confinement measures due to COVID-19. “My husband gets stressed because there is no money for food, he goes out every morning to look for a job and cannot find it…” Tatiana’s mother tells us. 

“Before … (the isolation by COVID-19) my dad worked every day and my mom had her seamstress daily work”, Tatiana says. 

In Ecuador, according to estimates by the Ministry of Production, 70% of the productive and commercial apparatus is paralyzed. This has caused some companies to close their operations, lay off staff, or reduce the wages of their employees.

Plan International Ecuador faces the emergency

Plan International Ecuador, aware of the effects caused by the COVID-19 crisis, has prepared a Response Plan that seeks to benefit approximately 456,000 people in approximately 9 provinces where it runs its operations. These efforts prioritize girls, boys, adolescents, female heads of households, people in conditions of extreme vulnerability, and people in human mobility.

The organization concentrates its intervention and response on 3 main areas: Humanitarian Aid through the delivery of food and hygiene kits and economic support for education and health, Prevention and Response to Violence, and finally, Economic Reactivation Projects led by women.

Until May 2020, Plan International Ecuador has delivered food and hygiene kits to 33,000 people, has given cash to 100 people from the sponsored communities and vulnerable population and has provided input to entrepreneurial women for manufacturing 30,000 protection masks for the communities. In Playas, city where Tatiana lives, in coordination with the Emergency Operations Committee (COE) Plan International delivered 1,000 food and hygiene kits to ensure essential basic nutrition for the beneficiary families.

The organization continues to develop coordination endeavours with humanitarian actors and the public and private sector to respond to the needs faced by families in the context of the crisis. Tatiana wants to share with all girls and boys the following: “… let’s be patient, let’s value everything we have and take good care of our health”.

Tatiana studying at table.
Tatiana studying in her family home.