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In developing countries, 80% to 90% of persons with disabilities of working age are unemployed, whereas in industrialised countries the figure is between 50% and 70% (UN)
Read about CBM and Inclusive Development

Hurricane Matthew 2016

Hurricane Matthew - After three months

a woman, using crutches, in a ruined house
© CBM/Abraham
Marie Ange, who lives with her three children, knew that a hurricane was coming but stayed home. However, it was stronger than expected, damaging her house, and while running outside she broke her leg. She has been interviewed as part of the CBM response, and will be referred for further support.

After three months, CBM is ensuring that persons with disabilities and other more at-risk community members are being identified and included in response activities.

Ensuring inclusive response - now and long-term

a man filling a large blue container with water ©CIC
Carlos, from Cuba, fills a PAUL filter, which ensures people in his local community - including a person with disability, four young children, one pregnant woman and six elderly people - have clean drinking water
Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti and Cuba on 4 October 2016, CBM Emergency Response Unit, in close collaboration with our Haiti Country Coordination Office and local partners, has implemented a response which includes persons with disabilities and other more at-risk community members.

In Cuba, we are supplying affected people with portable water filter units, essential to allow decentralised provision of clean water.
In Haiti, our overall goal is to ensure that the affected population, including persons with disabilities and their families, is able to access relief aid, psychosocial support and recover their livelihoods (gardening and livestock).  Our initial response is being implemented in two interlinked phases, extending over nine months, by which time we will be rolling out a longer-term strategy that ensures future rehabilitation and resilience-building.

Identification and referral

To date, through our 'Community-based Protection Project', we have identified and interviewed more than 1,900 persons with disabilities in Les Cayes and Jérémie, two of the worst-hit areas. This detailed information will allow us to make referrals to the best-suited service providers.

This is being done from two temporary field bases in close coordination with the Office of the Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (BSEIPH) and local Disabled Person's Organisations (DPOs), meaning that persons with disabilities are not only end beneficiaries of our work but actively involved and building capacity as responders.

Simultaneously, we are raising awareness and understanding of inclusion within 'mainstream' humanitarian agencies, both through their interaction with DPOs and by proactive advocacy work at community and cluster level.

All relevant staff have received Psychological First Aid (PFA) training, to maximise both their own ability to deal with trauma and to ensure that clients' mental health post-disaster is recognised and addressed in the best way possible.

Renee's story

two men, one who is blind, in a ruined building ©CBM/Abraham
Renee's home was damaged by Hurricane Matthew. He didn't evacuate, as he didn’t want to leave the only thing that was familiar to him, but during the storm the roof flew off and the house started to crumble around him... Read Renee's story in full

Next phase and long-term

We are well into the process of identifying existing specialised centres, schools and rehabilitation centres, which have been damaged by the storm and which we will support to recover. Phase two of our response will also address the loss and recovery of livelihood through unconditional cash transfer, distribution of suitable livestock and by supporting the restarting of gardening/farming activities.

As our response evolves, we will constantly monitor the situation to ensure appropriate delivery of services and will ensure our own, and partners' capacities are matching the needs on the ground.

Disability and emergencies

The WHO estimates 15% of the global population live with disability. In any emergency or disaster, people who live with some form of disability are disproportionally affected. Reasons for this include inaccessibility of warning messages and emergency shelters, loss and damage of assistive devices, disruption of support networks and increased difficulty in accessing basic humanitarian operations (food, water, shelter, sanitation and health care services).

At the same time, emergencies can increase the number of people who experience disability, both short and long-term, due to injuries sustained and lack of effective medical services.


Hurricane Matthew - Renee's story

Renee's house was damaged by Hurricane Matthew, which struck Haiti on 4th Oct 2016


Humanitarian Action

CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response



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