As humanitarian crises in Ecuador and Peru continue, impacting both migrant and host communities, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) analyzed data from an emergency cash program implemented between June 2022 and May 2024 to identify people's most pressing needs.

The IRC program reached 300 households in Ecuador from September 2023 to April 2024, and 805 households in Peru from January to May 2024. Based on information provided by people participating in the program, the IRC identified that, at the time they joined:

Nicole Kast, Country Director for Ecuador and Peru at the IRC said:

“As the number of displaced people in the world increases, it is important to remember that although they face crises derived from insecurity, political instability and climate change, Ecuador and Peru continue to be large recipients of hundreds of thousands of people from countries such as Venezuela and Colombia. In a context like this, cash assistance programs help people mitigate risks (whether they are still in transit or trying to resettle in a community) and empower them to decide how best to meet vital human needs.”

Needs in Ecuador

The IRC provided cash assistance to 300 households in the cities of Tulcán and Machala, in Ecuador, and surveyed 75 of them between December 2023 and March 2024 to diagnose their main needs and progress after the implementation of the program. The majority of people participating in the survey were part of the migrant community (77% Venezuelan and 19% Colombian), while 4% were Ecuadorian.

Based on the survey, the IRC identified the main needs as:

In addition to the previously mentioned aspects, 40% of people reported not being able to cover their health and medical care needs. When asked about the different barriers to meeting these needs, the most mentioned was the lack of financial resources, reported by 81% of the people surveyed. Other barriers mentioned were the unavailability of goods or services in their locality (expressed by 51% of people), discrimination (36%), and even insecurity (25%), which has been a factor contributing to the deterioration of the humanitarian crisis in Ecuador over the last year.

Needs in Peru

In Peru, 805 households received emergency cash assistance as part of the IRC program in the cities of Tumbes and Piura. The IRC surveyed 246 households at the end of the program, between March and May 2024, with most participants being part of the migrant community in the country.

The family groups that received humanitarian assistance were in transit or had been in the town for less than six months. Respondents reported that other needs they would cover with this assistance included health care (such as the cost of doctor appointments and medications), transportation, child care, and school fees and supplies.

The IRC response

In response to the humanitarian and displacement crisis in Latin America, the IRC has provided integrated protection services since June 2022 as part of a regional project funded by the European Union (EU). To date, the project has supported more than 113,900 people in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela (where the IRC works through local partners), offering comprehensive health services, promoting access to reliable information, creating safe spaces, delivering protection and case management services, providing psychosocial and mental health support, implementing women's protection and empowerment programs and distributing cash assistance.

Notes to editors: