This webinar will discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on migrants and refugees in Quito, Ecuador. We will focus on how the Ecuadorian state and humanitarian organizations in Ecuador responded to migrant needs and governance during the pandemic, especially to the food security issues experienced by Venezuelan migrants. Drawing on policy research including publications by the Ecuadorian government and International Organizations, and initial findings from a Food security survey in Quito, we argue that the simultaneous withdrawal of the State from its social protection responsibilities along with the expanding interventions of International Organizations as the main institutional actors, is promoting assistance-orientated models of migration governance. Our findings concur with the literature on migration governance in South America, pointing to the detrimental effects of assistance-led humanitarian governance models in prolonging migrant precarity.
About the speakers
Cheryl Martens, is a Research Professor in Sociology, Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies on Inequalities (IEAD), Social Sciences Coordinator in the College of Social Sciences and the Humanities, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador. She has led several projects on migration, health, and food security, including an IOM-MSP study on access to sexual and reproductive health and protection services, with a focus on migrant women and teens (IOM, 2022), Human Mobility and shelters in Ecuador (Care, 2021) and a study on the Vaccination process for migrants in Ecuador with the University of Geneva. She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on the SSHRC MiFood project in Quito Ecuador.
Mercedes Eguiguren is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Inequalities, at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) and a Visiting Researcher at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, working on the MiFOOD Project. Her research interests focus on the relationships between mobility, socio-spatial inequalities and the subjective experience of migration. She has researched and published on the links between international and internal migration, aspirations and social imaginaries as drivers of migration, the migration-development nexus, the contemporary history of Ecuadorian migration, and migration policy and political narratives. She serves as the co-chair of LASA’s Ecuadorian Studies Section, 2022 – 2024.
MiFOOD is hosting a series of webinars on various topics about migration and food security that highlight the progress of the project. These webinars include conceptual discussion, empirical findings and policy analysis. Through these webinars, we intend to build a community with various stakeholders for knowledge sharing, deepen the understanding of the complex intersections between migration and food security, and facilitate the discussion of effective policy interventions. Follow the MiFOOD Twitter (Moving on Empty), Like the MiFOOD Facebook page to be notified about upcoming webinars.