Reaching People with Disabilities after Devastating Flood in Pakistan

In July last year country's northwest region was the worst hit with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan experiencing 'once-in-a-century' rains. This has developed into one of the worst natural disasters any country has faced in recent years. United Nations estimates more than 21 million people have been injured or are homeless as a result of the flooding. That's more than the combined total of the individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It's really quite difficult to comprehend the scale of this flood.

As the important mitigation efforts of both the disaster and disability communities have all too often failed to intersect. The simple, often low-cost steps that save lives and reduce property damage in the face of disasters have often overlooked the needs of people with disabilities. Similarly, efforts to accommodate 10% disabled population frequently ignore disaster preparedness and response. As a result, too few disaster response officials are trained to deal effectively with people with disabilities, and too few disabled people in these areas have the knowledge that could help them save their own lives.

Keeping in account Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, related to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations at risk, thus to ensure that the response to flood is inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities STEP taken a number of initiatives in collaboration with its valued partners:

  • Orientation on disability of emergency response teams and volunteers of Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS)
  • Established linkage between PRCS and Disabled Peoples Organization (DPO) in flood affected areas to rescue unreached persons with disabilities
  • Highlighted needs of persons with disability in disaster station at UN response system through representing in clusters meetings
  • Conducted training on Inclusive Child Friendly Spaces in collaboration with Handicap International and UNICEF
  • Distributed wheelchairs supported by Thai People through Asia Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD)
  • Extended technical information to relief organizations beingfounder member of Ageing and Disability Task Force (ADTF)
Accessibility