The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA), will host representatives of government institutions, Embassies, United Nations agencies, development agencies and civil society organisations at a Partners Meeting on Disability Inclusion and Disaster and Risk Management on 16th December 2019 in Harare.
Persons with disabilities from three of the Cyclone Idai affected districts of Zimbabwe namely, Chimanimani, Chipinge and Bikita will participate in the meeting and share their experiences when the Cyclone Idai disaster took place and their needs after the disaster.
UNESCO ROSA will present a documentary and infographics entitled, “Leaving No-one Behind: The Case of Persons with Disabilities in the wake of Cyclone Idai,” produced in partnership with Christian Blind Mission (CBM), using data on disability in Chimanimani and Chipinge provided by the World Food Programme (WFP).
The major objective of this meeting is to highlight the dire challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the wake of by Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani, Chipinge and Bikita. It will engage in discussions on the types and scale of efforts that are needed to ensure inclusive disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery interventions.
The meeting is further expected to increase awareness among partners and development actors on the needs of persons with disabilities in Cyclone Idai affected areas and mobilise stakeholder networks towards building disability inclusive early warning systems and post –disaster recovery and rebuilding.
This initiative was conceptualised after the realisation that persons with disabilities were sometimes left behind in the public and media discourse around the recovery operations. It was also realised that there is limited availability of in-depth information and disaggregated data on persons with disabilities affected by and those who have acquired disabilities due to the cyclone, which has resulted in the exclusion of one of the most marginalised groups in post-disaster initiatives, including rebuilding and recovery interventions. For the future, this also raises the question of an inclusive early-warning system that should meet the specific needs of persons with disabilities.
UNESCO strives to raise public awareness on the human rights-based and inclusive interventions for the most commonly “left behind” groups during disaster preparedness and post-disaster recovery interventions.