“The needs of people with disabilities are not met in disasters”
The Order of Malta conducts a survey in Vietnam as part of United Nations data collection
People with disabilities often lack the information and support they need to protect themselves from disasters. That is the preliminary result of a survey conducted by the Order of Malta’s relief agency, Malteser International, in Vietnam for International Day for Disaster Reduction. The Vietnam survey is part of a worldwide effort launched by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), which is collecting data from over 120 countries until the end of 2013.
In Vietnam, 733 persons with disabilities living in disaster-prone areas participated in the survey. The findings indicate that people with disabilities are not sufficiently informed about disaster preparedness, and their needs are often not met during an emergency. More than half of respondents said they do not have a plan on how to evacuate or protect themselves from disaster; 64% said they have extreme difficulty evacuating or can’t evacuate at all. 73% are not aware or not sure of their community’s emergency plans.
“This is the first survey ever conducted on a global scale on how persons with disabilities cope with disasters,” said Sae Kani, Malteser International Disaster Risk Reduction specialist.
Malteser International, has been active in disaster risk reduction in Vietnam since 2009 and is a member of the Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (DiDRRN) in Asia-Pacific. The preliminary results of the global survey can be seen at the UNISDR website.
Photo: Guilhem Alandry