On Thursday 6 February, representatives of the European Disability Forum (EDF) and of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) met with Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič.
The EU annual humanitarian budget for 2020 is €900 million euros, invested through ECHO, the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations. It is of crucial importance to ensure these resources reach persons with disabilities.
Our delegation stressed the importance to achieve equal rights for persons with disabilities across the world and especially the importance of ensuring humanitarian action that meaningfully includes persons with disabilities.
We briefed the Commissioner on the priorities of the disability movement regarding humanitarian action and crisis management, including:
- The inclusivity and accessibility of all EU crisis management policies and programmes;
- The meaningful involvement of persons with disabilities and their representative organisations in all processes that concern them;
- The full implementation of Article 11 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies;
- The implementation of the “Guidance note on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in EU-funded humanitarian aid operations” developed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation (DG ECHO).
- The IASC guidelines on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action
Nadia Hadad, Executive Committee of the European Disability Forum stated
Persons with disabilities are still, quite literally, left behind during emergencies and during humanitarian aid actions. As the world’s biggest donor, the EU needs to ensure that all actions reach us. No European funding should be invested in humanitarian response, or reconstruction which excludes or segregates persons with disabilities.
Dominic Haslam, Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium, added:
We welcome the positive steps that ECHO have taken with the launch of the Guidance Note on the inclusion of persons with disabilities. It’s now important that this translates into more inclusive practices. Strong monitoring, accountability and data collection mechanisms are vital if we want to see real change.