CBM speaks up for disability-inclusion at the World Humanitarian Summit

Posted on: Sunday, 22nd May, 2016
Purna Maya sitting in her wheelchair outside her destroyed house.

On 23rd and 24th of May 2016, CBM will be taking part in the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, bringing together world leaders, humanitarian organisations, representatives from affected communities and the private sector.

Over 5,000 representatives from humanitarian organisations, foundations, aid agencies and governments from around the world will gather for the first World Humanitarian Summit on the 23 and 24th of May. The Summit has big ambitions - to reform a humanitarian system that is struggling to cope with an increasing number of conflicts and emergencies around the world.

CBM has been heavily involved in the run up to the summit and members of CBM's Emergency Response unit will be attending to raise awareness of disability-inclusion and facilitate the side-event on disability.In the run up to the summit the UN has spoke to 23,000 people in 153 countries. With our support, people with disabilities participated in some of the regional consultations, raising the issue of disability-inclusion as the core themes of the WHS were being defined. Out of these consultations has come an ‘Agenda for Humanity' which has five core responsibilities that everyone attending the summit is being asked to commit to.

Agenda for Humanity - Leave No-one Behind

One of the five core responsibilities set out in the 'Agenda for Humanity' is to leave no one behind. This means ensuring that all women, men, girls and boys are able to participate in and benefit from humanitarian responses. This is particularly relevant for people with disabilities who are often excluded from emergency responses as well as from planning and recovery. The WHS provides an opportunity to highlight this issue but also to demonstrating the key role that people with disabilities can play in improving humanitarian action.

At the Summit there will be a Special Session on disability. CBM has been involved in the creation the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, which States and others such as NGOs will commit to at the session. At the end of the session, the list of commitments will be used to come up with a plan of action allocating clear responsibilities to implement the Charter over the next three to five years. There is still time for organisations to sign up to the charter.

There will also be a side event on disability, which will provide an opportunity to hear from people with disabilities and their organisations, as well as experts in the field, on the specific challenges that people with disabilities face in conflict and humanitarian crises. The panel will explore the role that people with disabilities can play to ensure that humanitarian response reaches everyone in society.

CBM has been working with Cambridge-based digital marketing agency Studio 24 to develop a mobile app that will provide step-by-step practical guidance for humanitarian workers on how to make sure their responses include people with disabilities. A prototype will be launched at the Innovation Fair.

For regular updates from the World Humanitarian Summit this week, follow us on Twitter - @CBMUK and @CBMWorldwide.

Image: Purna Maya, one of more than 25000 people supported by CBM and its partners after the Nepal earthquake. Our response focussed on reaching people with disabilities and injuries.



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