The United States works with indigenous communities in Ecuador to strengthen systems of risk managementand prevention 

USAID authorities, members of Fundación Raíz, FECCHE and CONFENIAE, during the launch of the GIRA program in Puyo.

The GIRA program will benefit Chachi communities, with a population of approximately  23,000 people living in Esmeraldas, and some 50,000 people who live in Orellana and Sucumbíos. 

Puyo, June 26, 2023. The United States Government launched the Indigenous Governance against Risks and Threats (GIRA) program to support indigenous nationalities to strengthen their capacity of risk prevention and management of possible natural disasters and other types of disasters, social, or economic risks. 

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), together with the Ecuadorian NGO Fundación Raíz, the Federation of Chachi Centers of Esmeraldas (FECCHE) and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), will implement GIRA, which will benefit the 56 Chachi communities represented by FECCHE. The Chachi population represent approximately 23,000 people who live in Esmeraldas and around 50,000 people who live in Orellana and Sucumbíos, belonging to four member organizations of CONFENIAE. These communities also participated in the elaboration of the initiative, which made it possible to address and include their specific needs. 

Those who attended the launching ceremony, which took place in Puyo this month, included Alder Bartlett, Director of the USAID Program Office; Manuel Pallares, President of the Root Foundation; Marlon Vargas, President of CONFENIAE; Lola Piyahuaje, Vice President of CONFENIAE; Santiago Delacruz, President of the FECCHE; as well as other authorities and members of the participating communities. 

Within the framework of the GIRA project, the Chachi communities began a survey of their members to systematically map territories affected by the recent floods in Esmeraldas, which will make it possible to identify the areas that need more prevention when future floods occur. This information will also be shared with the National Risk Management System. This is an example of the GIRA program’s goals. 

It is a priority of the United States to collaborate with the different nationalities of Ecuador to achieve common objectives and mitigate risks for the benefit of their communities.