EDF welcomes regional roadmap to resilience

EDF welcomes regional roadmap to resilience

The disaster risk reduction (DRR) plan for Europe and Central Asia leading to 2030 comprehensively commits to disability inclusion. EDF welcomes this step forward, and calls for its implementation in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Reducing risk during pandemics and extreme weather

The European Forum for Disaster Risk Reduction (EFDRR) Roadmap 2021-2030 was endorsed during EFDRR 2021. This outcome document, covering 55 countries in Europe and Central Asia, should ensure that future societies in Europe and Central Asia are better prepared for natural events such as extreme weather and pandemics.

Following the Sendai Framework, this new roadmap recognises that persons with disabilities are more at risk during such crises, including those resulting from climate change, and it details measures that – if effectively implemented – will help to reduce this inequality.

How the EFDRR Roadmap addresses disability inclusion

  • In understanding and communicating risk, the roadmap recognises the disproportionate risk faced by persons with disabilities and highlights the need for investment in inclusive and accessible tools to communicate this risk, including disaggregation of data by sex, age and disability.
  • In governance and decision-making, the knowledge, skills, resources and experiences of those most at-risk are included as essential in supporting inclusive DRR. The roadmap explicitly references the importance of being guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in securing participation of organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs).
  • Regarding investment, the plan makes clear that no one must be left behind. It emphasises the value of financing inclusive green and digital systems when strategising adaptation and recovery planning, and of developing inclusive partnerships, tools and standards at all levels.
  • Preparedness for response and resilient recovery also detail the need for full inclusion, often using the example of COVID 19. Early warning systems must be accessible, preparedness for complex emergencies must be inclusive and development of new tools must prioritise accessibility. Safety nets must be informed by the SDG vision to leave no behind.

Among the approaches that are identified to enable this roadmap is specific reference to all-of-society engagement, in line with the CRPD, and that policies must be developed based on evidence, including data disaggregated by disability. Persons with disabilities are included among ‘most at-risk groups’ who must be supported to engage in strategic planning and accessible resilience building, and there is explicit mention of the fact that they have the expertise and resources to ensure risk reduction actions that benefit all everyone.

Decision-making must be inclusive to be effective

While EDF welcomes this roadmap, it is important to note that inclusion must start from the beginning. The roadmap recognises that organisations of persons with disabilities have not been engaged in decision-making about risk reduction and that this is one of the key reasons for the disproportionate impact of recent events such as COVID 19. EDF highlights that responsibility for facilitating meaningful engagement meaningful lies with the duty bearers. Governments must ensure that consultation is fully accessible and that reasonable accommodation and capacity building measures are provided in development, implementation and review of national disaster management plans.

EDF resources to guide the next steps

To understand the current situation and to support implementation of the roadmap at EU and national levels, EDF has published a review, toolkit reference guide and policy paper on disability inclusive DRR in Europe and Central Asia. These documents highlight gaps that exist, provide recommendations for policy improvements and links to tools for practitioners. They should also provide a basis for regional representation at the 2022 Global Platform on DRR.

For more information, please contact gordon.rattray@edf-feph.org