Diálogo Diverso Ecuador

Ecuador LGBTIQ advocates call for help with COVID-19 assistance fund

An advocacy group in Ecuador has established an emergency fund to assist LGBTIQ people and refugees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Diálogo Diverso‘s Solidarity for Diversity relief fund campaign is calling for donations to support LGBTIQ Ecuadorians as well as Venezuelan refugees in the cities of Quito, Guayaquil, and Manta.

The fund hopes to raise $100,000 to help 200 families, assisting with paying for essential costs such as rent, food, and toilet paper for two months.

Diálogo Diverso Director Danilo Manzano said that LGBTIQ people and refugee communities were among the most vulnerable groups in society during the crisis, the Washington Blade has reported.

“We have tried to meet the needs of LGBT people and especially Venezuelans who are migrants or refugees in the most comprehensive way possible,” said Manzano.

“The coronavirus crisis affects the poorest people.

“In this case the Venezuelan community is doubly or triply vulnerable and at risk.”

With more than 8,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 400 deaths to date in Ecuador, the major port city of Guayaquil has become a centre of the pandemic in Latin America.

Manzano said that many people who are in lockdown in their homes have run out of medications, with LGBTIQ people and refugees among the most affected because they cannot freely work and travel.

“The situation is very complicated because they don’t have the financial resources to be able to support themselves day to day,” he said.

“It is therefore a very difficult situation.”

Manzano said that the Ecuadorian government’s response to the pandemic has failed to consider the particular needs of minority groups.

Diálogo Diverso is continuing to work with local advocacy groups to deliver crucial supplies to LGBTIQ people in major cities in Ecuador.

The organisation is also offering counselling, legal, and medical support to the LGBTIQ community.

Donations to Diálogo Diverso’s Solidarity for Diversity fund can be made online.

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