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International Day for Disaster Reduction 2014

This image shows a young boy with his grandfather and his uncle, all three are smiling at each other, enjoying a light moment
© CBM/John Javellana
Benjillo (left) lives with his grandfather Rommie (centre) and his uncle Venus in the Philippines. Benjillo has difficulties walking and his grandfather is very hard of hearing. Their house was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, and they are included in their local Ageing and Disability Focal Point, run by CBM partner ADPI.

International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) is celebrated annually on 13 October, and in 2014 the theme focuses on older people. To ensure comprehensive and sustainable DRR work, the active inclusion and input of older people - and of people with disabilities - is essential.

What is Disaster Risk Reduction?

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) means reducing the impact of natural hazards (like earthquakes, floods, droughts and cyclones), through an ethic of prevention. We can increase our resilience in various ways, for example, changing how we grow our food, build our homes and teach our children. To ensure these DRR efforts reach entire communities in a sustainable way, it is essential that they actively involve everyone.

The theme for the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2014 is ‘Resilience for Life’. This focuses on the need for an inclusive approach for older people in DRR and recognises the role they can play in resilience-building though their experience and knowledge. 

Persons with disabilities and building resilience

People with disabilities – as with older people – are among the most at-risk groups during natural disasters. There are many reasons for this, including disruption of support networks (which may be friends and family), loss and damage of assistive devices (e.g. wheelchairs), inaccessibility of emergency shelters and warning messages, and greater difficulty in accessing basic humanitarian needs.  

Again, as with older people, people with disabilities need to be actively included in DRR initiatives, building the resilience of their communities by sharing their knowledge and experience.

Disability inclusive DRR now and in the future

CBM is a member of the Disability-inclusive DRR Network (DiDRRN), a consortium of like-minded disabled people’s organisations and ‘mainstream’ and disability-focused organisations. We have the collective aim of securing the active participation and meaningful contribution of persons with disabilities in DRR policy and practice up to 2015 and beyond. To understand more about this, read our resources advocating for disability - inclusive DRR after 2015.

Ageing and Disability Focal Points

This image shows a board with ADFP written on it ©CBM/John Javellana
Ageing and Disability Focal Point (ADFP) run by CBM partner ADPI in the Philippines
As part of CBM’s response to Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November 2013, our partner organisation Association of Disabled People Iloilo (ADPI) have established Ageing and Disability Focal Points (ADFPs) to make sure that people with disabilities and older people are included in mainstream relief and rehabilitation.

They do this by operating as ‘specialised hubs’, identifying the services that exist, and the people with the needs. Types of support targeted include water, sanitation and hygiene, food, shelter, health, livelihood, education and assistive devices. Additionally, the ADFPs improve awareness of disability inclusion in the existing mainstream services.

More reading

Recovering from Typhoon Haiyan

Mamerto, a rickshaw driver in the Philippines, is a husband and father who looks forward to a better future having been part of disability inclusive emergency response activities post Typhoon Haiyan


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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