Needs of persons with disabilities not addressed in disasters: UN survey

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Pakistan earthquake

Only ten per cent of people living with disabilities believe that there are plans to address their needs when disasters strike, according to the results of a United Nations survey released in Geneva on Thursday.

The UN global survey of people living with disabilities and how they cope with disasters was launched in July this year.

It is estimated that a billion people or 15 per cent of the world population live with disabilities.

The Director of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Elizabeth Longworth, describes the message received from the over 5,000 respondents to the survey in 126 countries as "scandalous".

"Only ten per cent of the respondents believed that their local municipality or authority has any form of emergency or disaster management plan in place that addresses their access and their functional needs, only 20 per cent could evacuate immediately and if they were given a bit more time that went up to 38 per cent. But you had well over half of them, about 58 cent saying they will have real trouble and certain proportion about 6 per cent saying they couldn't do it at all." (28")

The results of the survey have been released ahead of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction observed on October 13th to highlight the importance of building more disaster resilient communities and nations.

This year's theme for the day is focusing on persons with disabilities who are among the most excluded in society, and are more vulnerable when a disaster strikes.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’42″

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