Natural disasters often tell us a lot about a country’s social inequalities . That’s why Handicap International is keen to not only ensure people with disabilities are taken into account during emergency humanitarian operations but also included in the country’s education, health and economic policies over the long-term.
The organisation is expanding its work with local communities, national institutions and with international NGOs to ensure that the population as a whole is taken into account. This work is vitally important for people who have lived with disabilities since the earthquake, as for everyone else.
Thanks to Handicap International’s key role in implementing emergency operations immediately after the disaster (when it operated a logistics, transport and humanitarian aid distribution base), it was able to effectively raise the awareness of its partners and ensure that people with disabilities were taken into account during the aid effort.
Through this awareness and advocacy work, Handicap International aims to promote a much greater awareness of these issues. It is vital that the assistance provided to people injured or disabled during the earthquake of 2010 marks the first step towards a more inclusive society. Most people in Haiti now know someone in their family or circle of friends and acquaintances who has a disability. No one can or should ignore the importance of taking these people into account as part of the reconstruction effort, whether in terms of reconstructing buildings, the economy or the health and education systems.
The socio-economic inclusion of people with disabilities is a decisive step forward and an additional challenge on the path taken by disabled people on the way to fully rebuilding their lives. That’s why Handicap International has launched a socio-economic inclusion project to foster the creation of income-generating activities. Some sixty patients currently benefit from this service. By raising the awareness of company managers, we also promote the training and inclusion of people with disabilities in key local occupational structures.