May 2014 - CBM and other international NGOs launch the Aging and Disability Task Force (ADTF) in the Philippines. This collaboration will work to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities and older people in humanitarian responses in the Philippines, both now - recovering from Typhoon Haiyan - and in the future.
Working together for inclusion
CBM has joined forces with Handicap International, Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation, Inc., and HelpAge /Coalition of Services of the Elderly (HelpAge/COSE) to launch the Aging and Disability Task Force (ADTF) in the Philippines.
The ADTF will promote and support the inclusion of people with disabilities and older people in all humanitarian responses in the Philippines now (including those of Typhoon Haiyan) and in the future. It will also advocate for people with disabilities and older people to be included in all government relief and recovery strategies.
As of now, the task force consists of four national and international age and disability agencies. However, the group will be open to all national and international humanitarian actors with an interest in ensuring that there is age and disability sensitivity in their own work and that of the wider humanitarian community.
At the launch, COSE executive director Fransiskus Kupang said:
“Age and disability are two critical sectors that are often ignored in the assessment of humanitarian needs and operations.
“This is where the ADTF comes in to provide national level advocacy for the inclusion of older people and people with disabilities during disaster risk reduction, emergency responses, early recovery and future development activities.”
Experience from previous crises have shown that people with disabilities and older people are disproportionally affected during emergency situations:
- Early warning/evacuation messages and emergency shelters may not be accessible
- assistive devices such as visual, hearing or mobility aids are often lost and damaged
- support networks (family/friends/community) are often disrupted
- access to essential, basic humanitarian needs (food, water, shelter, sanitation and healthcare services) may be difficult or impossible
The ADTF will also raise awareness of the crucial roles that people with disabilities and older people play within their families and communities during emergency responses.