Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

There are an estimated 3.5 million refugees and internally displaced people living with a disability worldwide. For every one person killed in a disaster, another three are injured or left with a permanent disability, and many face long-term psychosocial impairments. Despite this, persons with disabilities are often invisible and excluded during times of disasters and humanitarian emergencies. More often than not, they face difficulties in accessing emergency support and essential services such as food distribution, medical care, shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) requires in Article 11 that States ensure plans for disaster preparedness and response are inclusive of, and accessible to, persons with disabilities. In particular, the UNCRPD highlights the importance of disability inclusive disaster management through international cooperation.

Resources in this section focus on how to ensure persons with disabilities access their right to inclusion in emergency responses. They include position papers, policy and practical guidance and case studies on inclusive disaster risk reduction and humanitarian practices.

See also: Fragile States and conflict affected areas, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

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Picture of a woman from the Philippines supported on her father’s back. She has cerebral palsy. There is destroyed houses and debris in the background.

Photo: Chelsea Huggett, 2013

Maria* 21, and her father had to flee Typhoon Haiyan as it hit their small town in Iliolo province, the Philippines. Maria has cerebral palsy and was carried by her father on his shoulders, in order to reach safety when their house was destroyed. (*pseudonym used) Copyright: CBM