RICHMOND, Va.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--In marking the U.N. General Assembly’s International Day for Disaster Reduction this Sunday, ChildFund International, a global development organization serving children in 30 countries around the world, underscored its commitment to helping children with disabilities prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
“Children with disabilities are the most deprived, excluded and vulnerable for a number of reasons”
Protecting vulnerable populations like children and persons with disabilities is a primary component of ChildFund’s work during disaster preparedness and response. ChildFund trains staff and local partners in disaster-prone countries on how to reduce their vulnerability to disasters and increase their resilience.
The effects of natural disasters are far-reaching. In a survey of more than 6,000 children 10-to-12-years-old in 47 different countries last year, ChildFund found that nearly one in three had experienced such catastrophes as a drought, flood or fires.
“Children with disabilities are the most deprived, excluded and vulnerable for a number of reasons,” said Steve Stirling, executive vice president of ChildFund International. “We need to include them in every aspect of our work, which is exactly what inclusive disaster risk management is about – working together at all levels to minimize the vulnerability of those who will be most impacted by a disaster, and that includes people with disabilities.”
The U.N. International Day of Disaster Reduction is a global observance that seeks to raise awareness about the importance of helping people and communities become better equipped to withstand natural disasters. This year’s theme, "Living with Disability and Disasters," highlights how people living with disabilities – in particularly those living in countries with extreme poverty – are among the most excluded in society and face acute vulnerability during disasters.
In observance of the day, ChildFund Gambia and 200 sponsored children along with the Gambia National Disaster Management Agency will participate in a parade highlighting the importance of disaster risk-reduction and building resilience. Demonstrations on national emergency preparedness also will be held.
“I was a sponsored child with a disability myself, but I did have access to health care and education and was safe,” Stirling said. “We want to ensure the same for all the children we serve.”
ChildFund International is a global child development and protection agency serving more than 17.8 million children and family members in 30 countries. For 75 years, we have helped the world's deprived, excluded and vulnerable children survive and thrive to reach their full potential and become leaders of enduring change. As a member of ChildFund Alliance we create supportive environments in which children can flourish. To sponsor a child in need, visit the ChildFund.