USD 3,241,000 approved
The overall goal is to increase the self-reliance and integration of 6,000 extremely poor families of refugees and host communities in Ecuador though the Graduation Model Approach (GMA).
Refugees, migrants and rejected refugees in theory have the right to work, however there are gaps in the implementation of policies. While institutional access was provided for 60% of refugees, 80% of rejected refugees claim they have received no institutional assistance. Additionally, only 26.3% of registered refugees have access to bank and saving accounts, while the number for rejected refugees sits at 20.6%. 55% of PoCs are self-employed, while 21.3% work in trade and 12.2% work in informal sales. 70% of PoCs live in urban settings with 24.2% of PoCs reporting discrimination when seeking employment.
Ecuador is the second hardest hit economy by COVID-19 in the region after Venezuela. Ecuador’s GDP is expected to decrease 6.5% in 2020 in the context of global recession due to COVID-19 and the fall in price of crude oil. The unemployment rate is expected to increase 8% between 2020 and 2022, and the population in extreme poverty will increase by 66% in 2020, based on World Bank projections. Many supply chains have been disrupted due to confinement and steep reductions in price, with PoCs being most affected.
During the emergency, all participants benefited from personalised support with regard to wage employment and self-employment through economic reactivation plans tailored to their particular needs. The participants have adapted their businesses and income-generating strategies to account for current market demands. The strategy includes access to training opportunities with special emphasis on online platforms. They also participated in several virtual workshops held with the support of private companies, such as WIX and TATA Consultancy Services, and government institutions such as the Ecuadorian Internal Revenue Service, focusing on digital marketing, taxation, customer service, among others.
Ailicec, a Venezuelan refugee, is pictured at her jewellery and materials store in a commercial center at Quito. Through the graduation model programme, she received the tools, skills and social networks to integrate into the community and achieve socioeconomic autonomy.