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     Home > Charity and Solidarity  >  2013-10-12 17:30:24
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Ban says persons with disabilities central to disaster resilience initiatives

October 12, 2013 - The United Nations International Day for Disaster Reduction is being observed today, Oct. 13, on the theme, "Living with Disability and Disasters". In a message for the occasion, UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon urged the world’s citizens to do everything possible to ensure that all persons with disabilities have the highest possible levels of safety and the greatest possible chance to contribute to the overall well-being of society. He urged for an inclusive world where persons with disabilities can play an even greater role as resourceful agents of change, saying “persons with disabilities are the biggest untapped resource for disaster planners around the world.” He noted that more than 1 billion persons in the world live with a disability, and this year’s commemoration of the International Day for Disaster Reduction is an opportunity to recognize their vital role in fostering resilience. Unfortunately, most persons with disabilities have never participated in disaster risk management or related planning and decision-making processes. They suffer disproportionately high levels of disaster-related mortality and injuries. Early warning systems, public awareness campaigns and other responses often fail to consider the needs of persons with disabilities, putting them at an unnecessarily elevated risk and sending a harmful message of inequality. Ban said, “we can change this situation by including persons with disabilities in disaster resilience initiatives and policy planning.” (Source: UN)


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