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Emergency humanitarian aid must include people with disabilities


In two years' time, NGOs, Disabled People's Organisations and States will have a practical guide to the improved inclusion of people with disabilities in humanitarian aid. Handicap International, along with two partners, has been tasked by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) with undertaking this project. Ricardo Pla Cordero, the Technical Advisor on Inclusion in Humanitarian Action at Handicap International, explains why this is so important.

Ricardo Pla Cordero, Technical Advisor Inclusion in Humanitarian Action.

Ricardo Pla Cordero, référent technique Inclusion dans l’action humanitaire. | © B.Blondel / Handicap International

"As of January 2017, Handicap International, in collaboration with the International Disability Alliance and UNICEF will be jointly leading an IASC working group to draw up an operational guide to the inclusion of people with disabilities in emergency aid provision.                

Based on the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action[1] launched last May at the World Humanitarian Summit, the aim is to develop a very practical guide for States, humanitarian aid funding bodies, and United Nations bodies and organisations, over the next two years. This guide will help them to put into place emergency aid programmes which are inclusive of people with disabilities. We now know that in crisis situations (natural disasters, displacement due to conflicts) people with disabilities are often forgotten about when planning aid provision. Recently, people have become acutely aware of this problem, notably with the signing of the Charter and the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which will be celebrated this year.

We will work in coordination with over thirty actors (States, NGOs etc.) with regular exchanges. Carrying out this work on behalf of the IASC means it will have a broad political impact, as this is the United Nations agency tasked with humanitarian coordination. It is an authority in the field and the documents it publishes have a very wide professional and political influence."


[1] Since signed by 138 States, Disabled People's Organisations, NGOs, and United Nations bodies

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