BRIEFING PAPER – Humanitarian response, how to include everyone? | June 6, 2015

In line with the humanitarian principles of humanity and impartiality, Handicap International is committed to ensure that humanitarian aid actors take into account the issues of inclusion, in humanitarian response, policies and frameworks. In context of natural disaster or man-made crisis, some people, because of personal and environmental factors (non-accessible information or infrastructure, discrimination etc.) […]

In line with the humanitarian principles of humanity and impartiality, Handicap International is committed to ensure that humanitarian aid actors take into account the issues of inclusion, in humanitarian response, policies and frameworks.

In context of natural disaster or man-made crisis, some people, because of personal and environmental factors (non-accessible information or infrastructure, discrimination etc.) can have additional difficulties to cope with the situation. Those include people with disabilities but also older people, people with injuries or chronic diseases, women and children, as well as people from minorities who are at higher risk of falling through the cracks of humanitarian response and thus being denied access to basic services. In addition some of these persons may have urgent need for specific services such as early physical rehabilitation or psychosocial support, which are essential for their well-being, but are often not available in mainstream humanitarian assistance.

For example, amongst the Syrian refugees surveyed by Handicap International in 2014:

– 22% had impairments,
– 15.6% had chronic diseases,
– 5.7% had a significant injury and 5 % were older people.

Inclusion of persons with disabilities and most vulnerable people in emergency response must be considered a core component of principled and effective humanitarian action. It relates to the humanitarian principles of humanity and impartiality as well as the human rights principles of equity and non-discrimination. Making sure that the most at risk crisis-affected people have access to the basic aid and specific services essential for their survival, protection and recovery, requires deliberate action from the humanitarian community.

Humanitarian programs should be tailored to reach and identify those persons most at risk, eliminate the barriers preventing them to access basic services and provide them with the specific services needed.

Handicap International produced a briefing paper to provide recommendations to all stakeholders involved in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian policies. Read the briefing paper in English.


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