Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities into Disaster Risk Reduction Planning by Tina Armstrong-Ogbonna.

By Tina Armstrong-Ogbonna

imageABUJA – Persons with disabilities often remain marginalized and excluded from Disaster Risk Reduction DRR plans and policies, and there is need for more to be done in promoting their inclusion.

The Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme UNDP Mr. Daouda Toure made this known during the 2013 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction held in Abuja.

He said as a result of the widespread challenges arising from 2012 floods in Nigeria and the continued collaboration on actions, to best tackle disaster management by all the different tiers of government, it is important to know that the plight of persons living with disabilities is magnifies during disaster.

Due to their condition, they are less likely to receive support they need during humanitarian crisis and also recover in the long-term. It is therefore important they must be included in our DRR policy planning processes, Toure added.

The UNDP Representative recommended enlargement of spaces for a robust Post-2015 development framework, that is all encompassing through inclusive future DRR policies that give persons living with disabilities, opportunities to make contribution to the process of identifying disaster reduction solution.

In a message, the United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said persons with disabilities are the biggest untapped resource for disaster planners around the world.

“More than one billion persons in the world live with a disability, and this year international day for disaster reduction is an opportunity to recognize there role in fostering resilience. Early warning systems, public awareness campaigns and other responses often fail to consider the needs of person with disabilities, putting them at an unnecessarily elevated risk and sending harmful message of inequality but this can be changed”.

Ban Ki-Moon called for the highest possible levels of safety for persons with disabilities during disaster situation.

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