Humanitarian Stakeholders Seek Adequate Funding ,Awareness For Persons With Disabilities
Stakeholders at a high level workshop on Disability-inclusive Humanitarian Action have called for adequate funding, training and more awareness programs in defending the rights of persons with Disabilities in Nigeria.
The workshop was to review Lessons from Disability Audit of North East Nigeria Transition to Development (NENTAD) Humanitarian Respond.
According to the World Health Organization’s 2011 World Disability Report, about 15 percent of Nigeria’s population, or at least 25 million people, have a disability.
Many of them face a number of human rights abuses including stigma, discrimination, violence, and lack of access to healthcare, housing, and education.
However on January 23 this year, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018, following 9 years of relentless advocacy by disability rights groups and activists.
The law is seeking to ensure full integration of persons with Disabilities in the society .
The Country Representative of Christian Blind Mission, Mr. Bright Ekweremadu, said that the audit would ensure that person with Disabilities in Nigeria access humanitarian assistance.
“We discovered that some work done do recognize persons with disabilities, but not very consciously.”
“There were quiet a few things that could have been done better including proper resourcing, training of staff, making sure that persons with disability are involved even in the planning stages.”
The Head ,North East Humanitarian Assistance of the DFID, Mischa Foxell, said that the audit was necessary in the inclusion of persons with Disabilities in humanitarian planning and programming.
“DFID is interested in disability across the country but what we really want to do is understand the impact of the humanitarian crisis on people with disabilities because we know that everyone becomes more vulnerable in a humanitarian crisis like we are seeing in the north east.”
“And we know that in humanitarian crisis around the world, people with disabilities are the most vulnerable.”
” So, for us, this was a very issue to look at and make sure we were taken into account in all humanitarian reprogramming”. Foxell added.
The Director of Rehabilitation, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe said that humanitarian work requires all assistance it can get from government, international donors and private organisations.
“We are really excited about taking the findings forward and continuing to work with CBM which is very important to us”
The Nigerian First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, who was represented at the workshop by Dr. Asabe Bashir, said persons living with disability have same rights and deserve to be treated well.