Including People with Disabilities in Emergency Relief Efforts
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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 15 per cent of the world’s population, or one billion people, have some form of disability. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 80 per cent live in poor countries, where communities are already more vulnerable to disasters and crises such as the current Ebola epidemic, with people with disabilities often disproportionately affected. More must be done to ensure the needs and rights of people with disabilities are fully recognised in disaster risk reduction and emergency responses. Accelerating progress will require inclusive humanitarian programming and the use of technological solutions to be effectively promoted and incentivised, and people with disabilities and their organisations to be involved from the outset in the design and implementation of policies and programmes.