Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action

Mana Maya (right) learning to use crutches at an outreach screening camp organised by The Leprosy Mission Nepal (TLMN) with CBM support in response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

CBM is one of a consortium of NGOs launching a new set of standards for humanitarian agencies, to help ensure that people with disabilities and older people can access support and actively participate in times of emergency.

Strengthening capacity of humanitarian agencies to deliver inclusive emergency response

Globally, 15% of the population lives with some kind of disability and one in eight are over the age of 60. By 2050, the number of older people is expected to increase to two billion – one fifth of the global population. Conflicts and natural disasters often result in a rise in the number of people experiencing disability, for example due to injuries and poor access to health care. Older people and people with disabilities, therefore, make up a significant and growing proportion of disaster-affected populations – and yet they are more at-risk, often finding it difficult to access disaster-relief, humanitarian assistance and protection.

The Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action have been developed for use by all practitioners involved in humanitarian response, including staff and volunteers of local, national, and international humanitarian agencies. They provide information on the actions needed to ensure disaster- response is as inclusive as possible, through shelter, nutrition, food security and livelihoods, education, health and protection. The overarching principles include recogntion that persons with disabilities and older people must be able to participate in all aspects of humanitarian response on an equal basis with others.

The Standards have been developed as part of the three-year Age and Disability Capacity (ADCAP) programme, which aims to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian agencies to deliver age and disability-inclusive emergency response.

The ADCAP programme, led by HelpAge International, is an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium, a group of seven agencies working to promote age and disability inclusive humanitarian assistance: CBM,, Handicap International, HelpAge International, IFRC, Oxford Brookes University and RedR UK. The programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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