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In developing countries, 80% to 90% of persons with disabilities of working age are unemployed, whereas in industrialised countries the figure is between 50% and 70% - UN Enable Fact Sheet on Disability and Employment, 2011
Read about CBM and Inclusive Development

Towards inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction

Two men training a boy with visual impairment to tie a bandage to an another boy seated on the floor
© Montfort Education Society
Students of Montfort Education Society, Guwahati, being trained to deliver first aid during a CBM India supported training

People with disabilities are among some of the worst affected groups when disasters and calamities strike, this makes the need for an inclusive approach to Disaster Risk Reduction critical…

Not ready yet

The recent floods in Chennai have not just left behind a trail of destruction but also questions for our preparedness to cope with disasters that are hitting us with an increasing frequency. People with disabilities are one of the worst affected groups during emergencies and it wasn’t a very different story during these Chennai floods, according to news reports.

The natural and man-made disasters have a ‘disproportionate’ impact on people with disabilities. This is recognised in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) as the Article 11 highlights that “the states, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, will take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of people with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters”.

The focus on making Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) inclusive has been increasing over the years, especially while designing policies and responses that follow during disasters.

Not very far from the scene of disaster in South India, in neighboring Bangladesh, the ‘Dhaka Conference on Disability and Disaster’ concluded on 14 December 2015, with the adoption of the Dhaka Declaration. The declaration supports the Sendai Framework by calling for inclusion and meaningful participation of people with disabilities in all disaster risk management programmes and includes specific actions to be undertaken in the coming two years. CBM was a key participant and supporter of the conference.

Strategic interventions for capacity building

South Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions when it comes to the impact of disasters linked to climate change. This adds to the existing change of poverty and disability related development work that we see in the region. 

CBM India has been highlighting the issue of inclusion in DRR at national and regional levels, while actively working on creating awareness and building capacity of the institutions and agencies that have an important role during emergencies and disasters.

CBM India is delivering trainings to partner hospitals and healthcare institutions to respond with an inclusive approach to the needs and vulnerabilities of people with disabilities. 

This approach also involves advocacy and influencing agencies and civil society networks to make disability inclusion an integral part of their DRR framework.  

In September 2015, CBM India and Sphere India, a national coalition of humanitarian agencies in India, organised the first ‘National Training on Mainstreaming Disability in DRR and Humanitarian Response’ for CBM Hospital Partners from seven states.

Catching them young

A long-term preparedness at the community level to respond to emergencies and disasters, also needs a mindset for inclusion through the involvement of communities at every step.

CBM India has been working with partners, mostly health institutions, to engage with schools to ensure that they are aware of safety during an emergency response and are also sensitive to the needs of children with disabilities. 

Recently, a training on ‘Mainstreaming Disability in Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and School Safety’ was held at Montfort Education Society, Guwahati, in collaboration with Sphere India. This training was aimed at building the capacity of the partner schools to respond to the humanitarian emergencies that arise in the aftermath of a disaster. This is expected to increase the level of preparedness for facing disaster, while allowing the schools to respond to the needs of children with disabilities and the disaster affected communities. Over 42 participants attended the training representing a number of schools from North East and South India working in disaster prone areas.

Long-term impact of climate change on people with disabilities

The phenomena of climate change can severely reduce availability of food and water, while destroying livelihoods leading to forced migration. These changes also impact the ongoing development and poverty reduction programmes. There are studies that show people are losing access to food, water and other important resources. In South Asia, a number of people with disabilities are dependent for livelihood on agriculture and land-based activities with extreme weather patterns disrupting these activities they are likely to slip into poverty. Hence there is a need to tackle the barriers to agricultural occupations for people with disabilities, which may multiply due to climate change, while also highlighting the need for alternate livelihood training in the event of forced migration. Development efforts must consider access to economic resources for people with disabilities to offset the negative impacts of climate change on poverty reduction. 
Thumbnail for video "Winning combination of cricket and inclusion" Thumbnail for video "Winning combination of cricket and inclusion"

Winning combination of cricket and inclusion

Message by India’s T20 Blind Cricket Team on celebrating CBM India’s winning combination of cricket and inclusion.

Thumbnail for video "Why Vidya must go to school" Thumbnail for video "Why Vidya must go to school"

Why Vidya must go to school

We all feel very strongly about the need of education for enabling children to find opportunities and addressing development challenges of the country


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