FEEDBACK – HI sensitizes on Inclusive Humanitarian Aid at Humanitarian Congress Berlin | October 22, 2019
This year’s Humanitarian Congress Berlin which took place on the 17th and 18th of October brought together more than 800 humanitarians, government officials, human right and environmental activists and young professionals to discuss the “Humanitarian Impacts of Climate Change”. The experts from around the globe shared their experience, knowledge and ideas on environmental and humanitarian […]
This year’s Humanitarian Congress Berlin which took place on the 17th and 18th of October brought together more than 800 humanitarians, government officials, human right and environmental activists and young professionals to discuss the “Humanitarian Impacts of Climate Change”.
The experts from around the globe shared their experience, knowledge and ideas on environmental and humanitarian action in multi-disciplinary dialogues and panels. Human rights and environmental activists from the DR of Congo, Germany, Indonesia and Kenya – among others – inspired by sharing their experiences and their hopes for the future.
Handicap International/Humanity&Inclusion participated on panels to stimulate a debate on rethinking the consequences of climate change by considering how persons with disabilities are specifically affected. Persons with disabilities can be more vulnerable to climate change as it is more difficult for them to adapt to change. HI also raised awareness on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action and the importance of rehabilitation as an essential health strategy contributing to the realisation of human rights.
HI-Rehabilitation Specialist Clément Tuenwa Bagnoa from Burkina Faso spoke on ‘Health and Climate Change’. The Sahel region is negatively affected by climate change through droughts and water scarcity, which lead to poor harvests and cause food insecurity. This increases the risk of malnutrition among children, increasing the risk of long-term impairments if not treated. These impairments in interaction with certain barriers (e.g.: no access to health care services) leads to a disabling situation for malnourished children. He explained how HI provides rehabilitation services and products, and works towards the inclusion of the most affected.
HI Project Coordinator Haakon Spriewald from Germany spoke on ‘Access to Water Sanitation and Hygiene: Ensuring the Quality of Response’ especially focusing on the accessibility of WASH facilities for persons with disabilities. To ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities, he points out that the collection of quantitative data on prevalence and qualitative data on barriers and facilitators needs to be considered thoroughly. Increased data on the prevalence of persons with disabilities using the Washington Group Question in humanitarian settings shows that there is often a higher average percentage of persons with disabilities in conflict and disaster contexts. Therefore, the inclusion of persons with disabilities is key to reach everyone.
At the end of the event, the Congress Steering Committee adopted a joint statement and a call for action, it highlights the problem raised by our specialist on child malnutrition as a consequence of climate-related drought in the Sahel region.You can find the statement here: http://humanitarian-congress-berlin.org/2019/call-action/.
Additionally, HI supported the Humanitarian Congress Berlin on its inclusiveness through its project “Phase 2 – Leave no one behind” and could offer subtitles in the online live stream of the first day to enable persons with hearing impairment to participate online.