Report released: Disability Inclusion in Disaster Risk Reduction

In Vanuatu, people with disabilities are at least twice as likely to be injured during a cyclone than people without disabilities—according to a new report published by the CBM—Nossal Partnership for Disability Inclusive Development.

Through surveying nearly 650 households to examine their experiences following Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015, the project generated much-needed recommendations for agencies and communities, in a region frequently affected by natural disaster.

Some key findings included:

  • 78% of adults with disabilities need crutches or other assistive device and some of these went missing following the disaster.
  • 74% of women with disabilities problems accessing evacuation centres compared to 50% of men with disabilities.
  • Access to services and information prior to and following the cyclone was consistently lower for women with disabilities than men with disabilities.

Some key recommendations included:

  • Mainstream disability inclusion throughout DRR, including preparedness for response, and consult with persons with disabilities and their representative organisations at all levels of DRR policy and programming.
  • Strengthen community preparedness initiatives and mechanisms and promote the leadership of persons with disabilities.
  • Leave no one behind, by ensuring households and communities are prepared to safely evacuate all community members including women, children and men with disabilities along with any assistive device they may use
  • Strengthen the organizational capacity of all actors by training staff and through establishing effective partnerships with persons with disabilities and their representative organisations.

This research was conducted in partnership with Oxfam with contributions by Vanuatu Society for People with Disability, Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association, CARE International in Vanuatu, Rainbow Theatre, the Tafea Provincial Government, the Vanuatu National Statistics Office, the National Disaster Management Office and the Ministry of Justice and Community Services.
This work has helped build evidence for effective solutions to implement recommendations from Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2017-2030 which calls for a disability perspective in all policies and practices, and highlights persistent barriers to ensuring the rights upheld by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

For full details of findings and recommendations download the full report or policy brief.