The following is a joint statement by CBM and the European Disability Forum (EDF).
In the strongest possible terms, EDF and CBM express our support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Together, we are closely monitoring the situation and are now scaling efforts to ensure persons with disabilities and their representing organisations (OPDs) are supported in the response and recovery in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
CBM has committed 2.1 million euros in humanitarian assistance to support the work of EDF and its members in Ukraine and neighbouring countries over the next 12 months. CBM is an international Christian development organisation, committed to improving the quality of life of persons with disabilities in the poorest countries of the world. Based on its core values and over 100 years of professional expertise, CBM addresses poverty as a cause, and a consequence, of disability, and works in partnership to create a society for all.
With this funding, CBM and EDF aim to improve the situation of persons with disabilities, the nearly 6.5 million persons that have been forcibly displaced and the more than three million refugees affected by this crisis.
The main focus of CBM’s aid provision to EDF:
- Support persons with disabilities in collaboration with organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and humanitarian principles
- Advocate for disability inclusion in the broader humanitarian response in Ukraine and in the countries of the EU as people flee the war (now over 4 million children and adults)
- Ensure recovery of persons with disabilities, and build the capacity of the disability movement in the long-term
EDF DPOs members in Ukraine, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Poland have already started this work, or are making plans to do so. Activities for the short to medium term include:
- Identify immediate and urgent needs
- Support local organisaitons in the set up accessible transit shelters in Lviv and Uzhhorod
- Provide accessible information for receiving organisations/ persons with disabilities and their families (website, helpline, information leaflets)
- Deliver hygiene products, medicines and food
- Ensure the purchase of the necessary aids, including wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, pressure-relieving mattresses, etc.
- Provide accessible vehicles to transport refugees with disabilities
- Advocate for governments to welcome adults and children with disabilities arriving from Ukraine and provide them with the right support.
- Help link people with disabilities with accessible places to stay, with food, medical support and technical equipment they may need
- Advocate for disability inclusion in the wider humanitarian response
- Work with the media to ensure the situation of persons with disabilities is adequately represented
EDF is also exploring collaboration with DPO members in other countries, and the overall strategy is designed so that this early response will lead into recovery work that builds members’ capacity in the longer term. For more information, contact EDF’s international cooperation team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: © Mikhail Palinchak. The image is from Irpin, Kyiv region. It was taken at the beginning of March, 2022
How you can help and latest news on the situation can be found in our dedicated page on the Ukraine war below.