On 3 November 2017, the armed forces took back control of the town of Deir Ezzor in Syria. The fighting inside and surrounding the city lasted several months, creating numerous civilian victims and displacing over 300,000 people. Handicap International (HI) is gravely concerned about the situation in the field.
 Syrian armed forces, Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS) and coalition.
In 2016, a record number of civilians were killed in bombing raids in Syria. One in every four civilians killed by aerial bombing in urban areas was under 18 years old, according to a study published by Lancet Global Health based on a Violence Documentation Centre (VDC) dataset. The study points to the use of explosive weapons in populated areas - a practice Handicap International (HI) vigorously campaigns against - and its devastating effects on civilians as the cause of these figures.
Amongst the 625,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are many hundreds living with severe disability. Their families are struggling to care for them in difficult camp conditions. Noorayesha is partially paralysed and cannot leave her tent.
The States Parties to the Ottawa Treaty that bans the use of anti-personnel mines met in Vienna from December 18 to 22 against the backdrop of a dramatic increase in the number of mine casualties (8,605 in 2016) and the use of improvised mines. Handicap International (HI) attended the meeting. The organisation's goal is to alert States to the issue of victim assistance and to argue for the clearance of improvised mines under the terms of the treaty.
 The Ottawa Treaty bans the acquisition, production, stockpiling and use of anti-personnel mines. The treaty was opened for signature on 3 December 1997. It entered into force on 1 March 1999. There are 162 States parties to the convention and one State signatory.
Ali, 4, lives in Jordan. He has cerebral palsy and, for the last few months, he has been visiting a Handicap International (HI) partner centre, where he benefits from physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions.
Since 2016, Handicap International (HI) has been working closely with local and international humanitarian organisations in Jordan to ensure services and initiatives in camps and communities are accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities. The organisation’s work in this field has already benefited a large number of people.
The latest version of the Fair ‘n Square website, which was first launched in 2015 by Handicap International (HI) in conjunction with UNICEF, looks at the ways in which children and adults with disabilities in Mozambique are discriminated against on a daily basis. Some people are unable to visit health centres because buildings are not designed for use by people with disabilities, for example, while some children with reduced mobility are unable to go to school because they don’t have the equipment they need to move around, such as a wheelchair. The aim of the website is therefore to raise awareness on disability, to show how some problems have easy solutions, and to provide information on action taken by HI in Mozambique to end the exclusion of people with disabilities.
HI works in five health centres and hospitals in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, where it provides rehabilitation care and distributes mobility aids (crutches, wheelchairs), among other activities. The impact on the population and humanitarian operations is likely worsen rapidly if the blockade imposed on 6 November is not lifted. François Olive-Keravec, Yemen programme director at Handicap International (HI), who is currently in Sanaa, describes the situation in the field.
In January 2016, Handicap International (HI) launched the “Makani” project in Egypt. The organisation regularly holds events in a working class neighbourhood of Cairo, where it also promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities. Through this project, the organisation also aims at encouraging young Egyptians to get more involved in their local community.
From 27 to 28 November, Handicap International (HI) is organising a regional conference on the bombing of civilians in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. This conference will bring together some 20 States, 10 African civil society organisations and international NGOs. The goal is to raise awareness of this vital challenge among African countries and to encourage them to take action on the world stage to protect civilians from the devastating impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
Ayesha Begum is 22 years old. In early September, she took refuge in Bangladesh where, with her three children, she joined her brothers in a temporary shelter on the edge of Kutupalong camp. Her husband is dead. She takes part in a parents’ club organised by Humanity & Inclusion, which provides psychosocial support to mothers living as refugees.
Abu Sadeq is one of 600,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar since 25 August. Disabled for the last few months, he describes life in Uchinprang camp, in Bangladesh.
Since 1990, mines have caused more than 11,100 casualties in Colombia. Pauline Boyer, mine action coordinator for Handicap International (HI) in Colombia, explains the urgent need to free the country of mines.
Dayana, 15, was seriously injured in a grenade accident in Colombia two years ago. With help from Handicap International (HI) and its partner organisation Tierra de Paz, Dayana has been able to talk with other young explosion victims. Her family has also received financial support to set up their own homemade ice-cream shop - a helping hand to move on from the past.
Xiemna, 33, was the victim of a grenade attack in her own home. Within the space of a few seconds, she lost both of her children and suffered serious injuries. With support from Handicap International (HI) and Tierra de Paz, she has been given psychological support and has now set up her own home-made yoghurt business.