20071009 Disability and Disasters World Report IFRC

20071009 Disability and Disasters World Report  IFRC

In any emergency, the response by governments and aid organisations can only be said to be successful when it has reached everyone in need. But in disaster zones worldwide, despite the best efforts of many, a great need remains.

Those already marginalised by society - the elderly, women and girls, minority groups and people with
disabilities - can become the most vulnerable in a time of crisis.

The level of discrimination they face in everyday life is heightened when disaster strikes. Then, too often,
these people are invisible both within their own societies and to the national, regional and global communities that mobilize aid.

Exclusion, predjudice, cultural norms and isolation can increase the vulnerability of these groups across the world.

Ethnicity, gender, language, religion, political opinions, national or social origin, economic condition are just some of the entrenched causes of discrimination that can compromise efforts to assist them.

The answer to this discrimination must be dialogue, openness and understanding. Aid agencies need to work
to change attitudes, ensure inclusion and advocate. Discrimination thrives in the shadows; we need to chase
those shadows away.

This year's World Disasters Report aims to address this issue by examining how and why different groups are marginalized during humanitarian emaergencies. How does discrimination manifest itself? How does it increase Vulnerability? In what ways are organizations reinforcing it? What can we do about it?