Between the 16th and 18th of May the Regional Asia-Pacific Conference on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction took place in Hanoi, Vietnam. On the second day, a side event on Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction was organized by the Hanoi Disabled People’s Organization (DPO Hanoi) and the Disability inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction Network (DiDRRN). 40 participants attended the event including representatives of DPOs in Vietnam and key persons such as representatives of the Regional UNISDR Office, the Director of Regional UN Women, UN Women of Japan, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Control and Deputy Chief of the standing office of the Central Steering Committee on Disaster Management of Vietnam, UNDP Senior Advisor on gender inclusion together with other highly distinguished delegates.
During the event, representatives of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPO) expressed their disadvantages in responding to disaster, their needs during disasters and the barriers that prevent them to participate in disaster risk reduction activities. Due to these constraints, the representatives of people with disabilities advocated for support to participate in local disaster risk reduction activities.
“This is the most tremendous event of the conference” stated the Technical Advisor of UN Women. She was joined in her opinion by Ms Pham Thanh Hang from UNISDR, who attested a “Great job!” for this side event and suggested mainstreaming the disability inclusion in the National Strategy for natural disaster prevention and control and implementation plan for the Sendai Framework in Vietnam. Moreover, Ms Hang consulted DPO members for their ideas on how to monitor the disability inclusion. The representatives of DPOs in Vietnam and DiDRRN recommended that people with disabilities should be invited to participate in the planning, implementing as well as monitoring of the Sendai Framework’s implementation. To these suggestions Mr Nguyen Duc Quang, Deputy Director of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Control and Deputy Chief of the standing office of the National Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control of Vietnam responded that it will be considered to invite “representatives of people with disabilities in the Disaster Prevention and Control committees at all levels, especially at the national level.”
After the side event, the DPOs’ representatives continued participating in other plenary sessions of the conference of day 3 to advocate among decision makers to mention the disability issues in the final recommendations for Gender mainstreaming in the Sendai Framework of Action.
Through the efforts of advocacy of DPO and DiDRRN members during the conference, the contents of the recommendation paper for gender mainstreaming in Sendai Framework for Action finally included key words reflecting inclusion, in particularly: inclusive, accessible; diverse group, at risk groups including people with disabilities and universal design. Data collection of disability disaggregated data at pre- and post- disaster situations were also mentioned clearly in the paper.
In the closing speech at the conference, the Vietnam’s Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development appreciated active participation of representatives of DPO members who contributed to the success of the conference together with other nondisabled stakeholders.
Article provided by: Malteser International Team Vietnam