A study of humanitarian financing for older people and people with disabilities, 2010โ€“2011

A new study by HelpAge International and Handicap International has found a significant disparity between the needs of older people and people with disabilities and the level of humanitarian assistance delivered to meet their needs.

11% of the world's population is aged 60 and above, whilst an estimated 15% of people live with disability. However, analysis of over 6,000 projects from 14 UN Consolidated Appeal Processes (CAP) and 4 Flash Appeals between 2010 and 2011 shows that:

Older people and people with disabilities face specific challenges in humanitarian crises related to mobility, access to services such as healthcare and reestablishing livelihoods. If active steps are not taken, the needs of these highly vulnerable groups will continue to be unmet. Humanitarian actors must integrate the needs of these groups into responses and, where necessary, provide targeted interventions.

According to Frances Stevenson, Head of Emergencies at HelpAge: "This research shows there is a serious problem in the international humanitarian system. Humanitarian aid agencies systematically fail to assist the most vulnerable people. Older people and people with disabilities can be particularly vulnerable in crises and disasters and they have specific needs, but time and again their needs are not being properly assessed, analysed or incorporated in responses."

Jean-Pierre Delomier, Head of Emergencies at Handicap International adds: "At the time of a crisis, NGOs should pay particular attention to targeting the most vulnerable as they have the greatest difficulties accessing humanitarian assistance. It is what we aim to do for these most excluded individuals, by covering both their basic and specific needs."

Please download A study of humanitarian financing for older people and people living with disabilities in PDF format from:


Published by HelpAge International, London and Handicap International, Lyon

This research was funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department.

By: Written by Jennifer Baird, Jessica Dinstl, Marcus Skinner and Jo Wells. Edited by Kathryn Oโ€™Neill
When: 7/2/2014

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