New Standards for Age and Disability inclusion in emergencies

Posted on: Thursday, 20th August, 2015
Patients being transported to hopsital supported by CBM following the Nepal earthquake in 2015.

"CBM is one of a consortium of NGOs launching a new set of standards for humanitarian agencies, to help ensure that people with disabilities and older people can access support at times of emergency.

Globally, 15% of the population lives with some kind of disability and one in eight are over the age of 60. By 2050, the number of older people is expected to increase to two billion – one fifth of the global population. In conflicts and natural disasters, the risk of becoming disabled increases, for example due to injuries and poor health care. Older people and people with disabilities, therefore, make up a significant and growing proportion of disaster-affected populations – and yet they often find it difficult to access disaster-relief, humanitarian assistance or protection.

Laura Gore, Programme Manager for CBM UK said, “We know that people with disabilities and older people are not always adequately incorporated into humanitarian responses and yet they are extremely vulnerable in emergency situations, often finding it hard to access information and services that are available to the rest of the population. For CBM this initiative is therefore of crucial importance in helping to ensure that humanitarian agencies can deliver disability-inclusive emergency responses.”

The Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action have been developed for use by all practitioners involved in humanitarian response, including staff and volunteers of local, national, and international humanitarian agencies. They provide information on the actions needed to ensure disaster- response is as inclusive as possible, through shelter, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, education, health and protection.

The Standards have been developed as part of the three-year Age and Disability Capacity (ADCAP) programme, which aims to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian agencies to deliver age and disability-inclusive emergency response.

The ADCAP programme, led by HelpAge International is an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium, a group of seven agencies working to promote age and disability inclusive humanitarian assistance: CBM,, Handicap International, HelpAge International, IFRC, Oxford Brookes University and RedR UK. The programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Further reading

ADCAP-report-LowRes-final. The ADCAP Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action establish benchmarks to guide good practice and suggest measures that humanitarian organisations can take to adapt existing programmes.

CBM in emergencies"


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