…says inclusion in COP27 ‘Loss, Damage’ Fund needed
By Ezra Ukanwa
As part of ways to bridge the gaps between the most vulnerable in society, the Federal Government, FG, including other levels of government have been urged to include People With Disabilities, PWDs, in disaster risk management and climate change-related decision-making.
This was even as they also clamored for the inclusion of PWDs in the management of the United Nation, UN, Loss & Damage Fund in a bid to make up for the losses suffered by developing nations that are vulnerable to climate change.
You would recall that on Sunday, the UN COP27 summit of nearly 200 countries agreed to set up a “loss and damage” fund to support poorer countries being ravaged by climate impacts.
The Country Director, CBM Global Disability Inclusion, Ekaete Umoh, made this call at a press briefing, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Umoh, however, highlighted social exclusion as a major cause of hardships of persons with disabilities, adding that lack of consideration for inclusive and accessible humanitarian responses for PWDs on emergency aid provided by the government or NGOs during natural disasters, poses new risks and creates new barriers.
Citing examples from the recent devastating flood seen in most parts of the country, Umoh revealed that persons with disabilities are the most vulnerable in the strata of the most vulnerable in emergencies due to intense discrimination, rights abuse, and exclusion from the social narrative.
Umoh said: “While we commend the efforts of the Nigerian government to responding in the face of the disaster situations, particularly, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and other relevant government MDAs, we call for more deliberate efforts to targeting persons with disabilities in the responses to promoting inclusion across the clusters of persons with disabilities.
“We call for the meaningful participation, inclusion, and leadership of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations within disaster risk management and climate change-related decision-making at the local, national, regional, and global levels, which lies at the heart of an approach to climate action that is respectful of the rights of persons with disabilities.
“Specifically, we call for the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the management of the UN Loss & Damage Fund which seeks to make up for the losses suffered by developing nations that are vulnerable to climate change and support poorer countries being ravaged by climate impacts.”
Umoh, therefore, restated commitment towards fighting against stereotypes, specifically, to end the cycle of poverty and disabilities.
“For us at CBM Global Disability Inclusion, we exist to fight the stereotypes, specifically, to end the cycle of poverty and disabilities. Our interventions in Nigeria have been targeted at breaking the barriers to access in health, education, humanitarian and emergencies across all strata of society”, Umoh said.