- Advertisement -


Wednesday, 23 September 2020


Disabled refugees being left behind during the COVID-19 Crisis.

- Advertisement -
On the occasion of the World Refugees Day (Saturday, June 20), Humanity & Inclusion’s new report, ‘COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts: no excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind!’, documents the impact of COVID-19, and the related restrictions on people with disabilities.

The new report shines a light on the specific plight of refugees with disabilities amid COVID-19. Among nearly 80 million refugees in the world, around 15% have a disability.

Refugees with disabilities are often poor, stigmatised, isolated, excluded by their community and forgotten during an acute crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Humanity & Inclusion works with refugees with disabilities around the world (Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Uganda, Colombia, amongst others). The report gathers the testimonies of many of the people supported by Humanity & Inclusion’s teams. One word resonates: exclusion. People with disabilities are being left behind in humanitarian responses.

Humanity & Inclusion is asking States to unlock humanitarian aid immediately. States must ensure that people with disabilities are not abandoned or prevented from accessing humanitarian aid. Humanitarian organisations like Humanity & Inclusion are often the last resort for the most vulnerable, including displaced people with disabilities who depend on humanitarian aid to survive. We must not be prevented from reaching people in need.

As the COVID-19 crisis spreads, we see local communities quick to reject refugees, especially when they have a disability. People who live close to refugees tend to avoid them or deny them access to services like healthcare or transportation, fearing that they carry the coronavirus and might put others in danger.

The world’s refugee camps were not built for COVID-19. They are overcrowded, squalid, packed with poor, under-nourished people who settled there in a panic. This environment, with limited access to basic and specialised services, is particularly conducive to virus transmission.

As highlighted in Humanity & Inclusion’s report, people with disabilities face challenges accessing information. People such as Sabiti, 41 who lives in the Kiziba refugee camp. He has difficulty hearing and speaking, and works as a shoe repairman. At the start of the outbreak, concrete information about COVID-19 was off-limits to him, because there was no sign language interpretation.

Sabiti said:

“I could have contracted COVID-19 without knowing it. People started staying at home… My family told me that I could not go out and move around, but they could not explain clearly why I could not go to work.”

In the camp, there are around 70 people who have speech and hearing difficulties, left without any information. These are just some of the people who will be left behind in this current deadly situation.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

Quick-thinking five-year-old saves dad’s life after seizure

A five-year-old girl has been praised for saving her father’s life after he collapsed. Avaana Samuel was at home in Worcester Park, Sutton, when her...

“MS turned my ‘perfect life’ into a living nightmare,” says gold-medalist Stephanie Millward MBE

PARALYMPIC gold medallist Stephanie Millward MBE will be swimming 100 kilometres to raise funds for the MS Society. The 39-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis (MS),...
- Advertisement -

Employment News

From Chairman to Patron, John Corless OBE continues his 50 years of supporting Phab

PHAB has announced that following his retirement in June as Chairman of Phab, John Corless OBE has accepted the role of Patron, succeeding Lord...

Penny Appeal appoints experienced new Director of International Programmes

PENNY Appeal is pleased to confirm the appointment of Monica Blagescu as its interim Director of International Programmes. The move is part of a...

End of an era for Cheshire Charity Chief

LEADING Cheshire Charity Active Cheshire has formally announced the departure of their long-serving CEO, Anne Boyd. Anne has led the Charity for 8 years, transforming,...

Related News

Kiltwalk raises £5m for Scotland’s charities

SCOTLAND'S Kiltwalkers and The Hunter Foundation have raised a massive £5 million for over 900 Scottish charities in 2020.  The COVID-19 pandemic saw all...

Macmillan to make redundancies amid £175m coronavirus losses

MACMILLAN Cancer Support regrets to announce that it proposes to make 310 redundancies in response to an expected £175m loss in fundraising income by...

Shelter, Age UK and Heads Together announced as National Emergencies Trust partners

THE National Emergencies Trust (NET) is announcing new partnerships with Age UK, Heads Together and Shelter, who will each receive a share of £12million in Coronavirus...

New Trustees for GroceryAid

GroceryAid has announced three new Trustees have joined the Board in 2020 - Mark McKenzie, Group Sales Director, Nestle UK & Ireland, Dawood Pervez,...

New Skills Fund to unlock £500m per year employment potential of UK prison population

UNLOCKING the skills potential of the UK's prison population could put £500million a year back into the economy in lowering reoffending rates alone, a...
- Advertisement -