Light for the World - Analysis of the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan

31 March 2020

Our member Light for the World provided us with the following analysis of the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan from a disability perspective:

  • The UN appeals for 2bn USD additional humanitarian funding. The Global Response Plan was drafted by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). It will be coordinated by UN OCHA and it brings together requirements from WHO, FAO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP. The UN agencies together request 1.9bn USD of funding. An additional 100m USD are requested as unearmarked funding for NGOs (see p. 38).
  • The UN sets the preliminary funding appeal for nine months. The Global Response Plan’s working assumption is a scenario of a  rapidly escalating pandemic in fragile and developing countries with severe implications for public health and socioeconomic conditions in a timeframe of 9-12 months, until December 2020 (see p. 17).
  • The Global Plan identifies priority countries and most at-risk countries on basis of their vulnerability. Most of the priority countries are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. The top 10 countries for appeals are Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, Afghanistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Sudan, Bangladesh, Syria and Venezuela
  • The Global Response Plan is very disability-inclusive. The guiding principle of the document is to look at vulnerable countries and vulnerable populations. Persons with disabilities and chronic illnesses are explicitly included in this group. In his foreword, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says: “The world is only as strong as the weakest health system. This [Plan] aims to enable us to fight the virus in the world’s poorest countries, and address the needs of the most vulnerable people, especially […] those with disabilities and chronic illnesses.” The Plan notes that persons with disabilities may be unable to access health systems or receive adequate information. Meaningful participation of persons with disabilities is identified as an enabling condition. Performance indicators are to be disaggregated by disability (see p. 3, p. 16, p. 22, p. 32).
  • The annexes of the Global Response Plan include one-page national and regional response plans for some priority countries. These make less consistent references to persons with disabilities. For example, the Ethiopian Response plan does not list persons with disabilities at all, while the South Sudanese Response Plan explicitly mentions persons with disabilities, including in an IDP context (see p. 43ff).
  • The Global Response Plan projects access to funding for NGOs. NGOs will be able to access funding mobilized in the framework of this plan and related country plans, through partner arrangements with UN agencies, pooled funding mechanisms and direct donor funding. The documents places specific emphasis on community-level work and expects that the response can be a blueprint for localisation of humanitarian response to national and local NGOs in respective countries (see p. 4, p. 25).

Author: Benedikt Van den Boom


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