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PS - Here is one of my favorite stories from 2015, showing the moment that two of our beneficiaries from the Nepal Quake got their first prosthetic legs from Handicap International:

http://abcnews.go.com/International/us-army-vet-helps-girl-injured-nepal-earthquake/story?id=34922624


  • 10 years of conflict | "At least two generations to rebuild Syria"

    March 14, 2021
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    March 15 marks the tenth anniversary of the conflict in Syria, and the humanitarian crisis is only getting worse. Humanity & Inclusion is working in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt with Syrians who have lost everything. Humanitarian needs are acute, while access to the people who need help remains a major challenge. Even when the conflict ends, rebuilding Syria will take generations. The level of destruction of infrastructure, contamination by explosive devices—an unprecedented level in the history of mine clearance—and the scale of population displacement pose enormous challenges.

    Silver Spring, Maryland—After a decade of war, continuous bombing and shelling in populated areas have had appalling humanitarian consequences: thousands of deaths and life-changing injuries, psychological trauma, families torn apart, forced displacement, destruction of essential infrastructure like hospitals, schools, water lines, and bridges, and ever worsening poverty. Humanity & Inclusion is working in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt with Syrians who have lost everything and need humanitarian aid to survive.

    At least one-third of homes in Syria are damaged or destroyed. Major cities like Raqqa, Aleppo and Homs have been largely destroyed by extensive and intense use of explosive weapons. 80% of the city of Raqqa was destroyed in 2017. Massive, continuous bombing and shelling has left millions of people without homes and forced them to flee. 

    Explosive pollution

    The level of contamination is unprecedented in the history of mine clearance: contamination from unexploded ordnance, such as bombs, rockets and mortars that did not explode on impact, and other explosive hazards such as landmines and booby traps, is so severe that it will take generations to make Syria safe. 11.5 million people are currently living in areas contaminated by explosive hazards.

    "Syria is a special case in terms of contamination for two reasons,” says Emmanuel Savage, Director of Armed Violence Reduction at Humanity & Inclusion. “After a decade of conflict, Syrian soil is contaminated by a complete spectrum of explosive weapons including unexploded bombs, explosive remnants and booby traps, and improvised mines. The second reason lies in the type of areas affected: mostly urban areas. We know from experience that explosive remnants in urban areas are particularly difficult to clear, amid thousands of tons of rubble. We also have to think about how to support individuals. Syrians have experienced the horrors of war, and they need physical and psychological support. Physical trauma such as amputations, brain and spinal cord injuries, but also psychological trauma need specific care. I think it will take at least two generations to rebuild Syria."

    Contamination with explosive remnants of war is one of the significant obstacles preventing the safe return of refugees and displaced persons in Syria. It will also be a major obstacle to rebuilding Syria, its economy and social fabric. Rebuilding cities and infrastructure in Syria will require complex and expensive clearance operations.

    "Massive bombing and shelling of cities is a deadly cocktail for civilians," says Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion. "The human suffering caused by bombing ​population centers must stop. In Syria, but also Iraq and Yemen, we witness the disastrous consequences for civilians over and over. Decisive ​policy victories against landmines (1997) and cluster munitions (2008) give us hope—we have a historic opportunity to clearly say ‘stop’ to the bombing of ​places where populations are concentrated. The U.S. and other States must commit to the current diplomatic process for an international agreement against the use of explosive weapons ​where civilians live. ​We must all recognize the indiscriminate human suffering caused when explosive weapons are deployed in populated areas, as well as the lasting effects. Older principles of international humanitarian law do not adequately address this challenge."

    Acute humanitarian needs

    As violence continues across Syria, over 13 million people need humanitarian assistance—more than 6 million of whom are children. Access to basic services (health, food, clean water, shelter, etc.) remains an absolute priority.

    Within Syria, 6.7 million people are displaced—many of whom have moved multiples times. This is the largest internally displaced population in the world. Nearly a quarter of people have disabilities—close to double the global average. 5.6 million Syrians are refugees in neighboring countries and heavily rely on humanitarian aid.

    The current humanitarian crisis is aggravated by an acute economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic, making an already severe situation worse. Humanitarians struggle to access all communities in need and face mounting security risks:  in 2020, there were 65 recorded attacks on aid workers, nearly half of those attacked were killed. It is estimated that there have been at least 100,000 COVID-19 cases in Government of Syria-controlled territory alone.

    As health infrastructure has been destroyed by bombing, health services are unable to cope with this additional health crisis. Only half of hospitals and primary healthcare centers across Syria are fully functional.

    Key Statistics

    • 13 million-plus people need humanitarian assistance, more than 6 million of whom are children
    • 6.7 million people are displaced inside the country – often multiple times. This is the largest internally displaced population in the world
    • Nearly 1/4 of people have disabilities, which is nearly double the global average
    • 11.5 million people live in areas contaminated by explosive hazards
    • 5.6 million Syrians refugees living in neighboring countries
    • 1.8 million Syrians have been helped by Humanity & Inclusion in 6 countries since 2012

    Humanity & Inclusion experts available for comment

    • Amy Rodgers, Humanitarian Policy Coordinator
    • Federico Dessi, Regional Director of the Middle East Programs
    • Caroline Duconseille, Country Manager in Lebanon
    • Rosanna Rosengren-Klitgaart, Country Manager in Jordan    

    Relevant Humanity & Inclusion reports on the impact of explosive weapons

    1. The use of explosive weapons in populated area: it is time to act, 2018, Briefing paper
    2. The Waiting List. Addressing the immediate and long-term needs of victims of explosive weapons in Syria, 2019, Report
    3. The Long-Term Impact of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas in Yemen, 2020, Study.
    4. A Persistent Danger: Unexploded Ordnance in Populated Areas, 2020, Briefing Paper
    5. Everywhere the bombing followed us, 2017, Report

    These reports are being used to inform the ongoing international negotiations between states towards a political declaration to avoid the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

    About Humanity & Inclusion

    Humanity & Inclusion is an independent international aid organization. It has been working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster for 39 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, our action and testimony are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions, and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Since it was founded in 1982, Humanity & Inclusion has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, jointly manage projects, and to increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 and the winner of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2011. Humanity & Inclusion acts and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task.


  • 35 Aid agencies warn of further irreversible impact, marking 10 years of Syrian conflict

    March 11, 2021
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Thirty-five of the leading aid agencies have joined together to warn of the suffering and increased, irreversible, damage if the growing humanitarian needs in Syria are not met and a political solution is not found. The 35 agencies have highlighted that a decade since the outset of the conflict, living conditions for many Syrians are worse than ever. The statement reads: 

    “Monday March 15th will mark 10 years since the onset of the crisis in Syria. A decade of conflict in Syria risks creating further irreversible impact to millions of displaced civilians and on the region unless world powers use all their influence to stop the crisis. There continues to be violence and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure.

    Inside Syria over 80% of people are living in poverty and food insecurity levels are at a record high. Over 12.4 million people are food insecure and a further 1.8 million are at risk. 12.2 million Syrians lack regular access to clean water and 2.4 million children are currently out of school. The COVID-19 global pandemic has only exacerbated the human suffering. Vital infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, markets, homes and roads have been damaged or destroyed throughout the conflict. Many that are still standing have become shelters for those displaced by the conflict. Syrians are also facing rising inflation as a result of the declining value of the Syrian Pound, widespread unemployment, and increasingly common fuel shortages. Basic goods are no longer affordable for many, forcing families to reduce the amount of meals they put on the table or trade what little food they do have for medicine.

    The protracted displacement crisis as a result of the Syrian conflict is the worst since the Second World War. 5.6 million Syrians remain displaced in neighboring countries, of which 2.5 million are children. 6.2 million remain internally displaced across different parts of Syria. 

    In the neighboring countries, 5.5 million Syrian refugees and 4.8 million impacted host community members are in need of humanitarian assistance, with COVID-19 increasing poverty and risk of sexual-gender based violence. Most have little legal protections and few livelihood opportunities. Nearly 580,000 Syrian refugees are in need of resettlement, less than 2% have had their cases submitted last year and far more than the resettlement spaces available. The UN is warning that there are record low levels of resettlement.

    We call on the international community to step up its aid to Syrians across the country and in refugee-hosting countries and recognize its responsibility to support refugees. Cross-border access into Syria must be maintained, and humanitarian access within the country must also be strengthened. The EU-hosted Brussels V March ministerial conference on March 29th-30th is the best opportunity for the world to show it has not forgotten about Syria and to act to end the growing suffering. We also call on governments with influence over the warring parties to use their pressure to seek an end to this brutal conflict and spare millions more Syrians from the violence. It is essential that we invest both in urgent humanitarian needs and long-term development to help build resilience well into the future. We must allow Syrians to live a better life where income-generating opportunities, repaired homes, functioning public infrastructure, clean water, basic services, and hope for the future are existent and accessible to all - otherwise the impact of a decade of conflict will be irreversible”.

     

    Signed by:

    • ACT Alliance
    • Action Against Hunger
    • Basmeh & Zeitooneh Relief & Development
    • Cadus e.V.
    • CAFOD
    • CARE International
    • Caritas Germany
    • Center for Civil Society and Democracy
    • Christian Aid
    • Diakonie Katasrophenhilfe
    • Dorcas
    • Hurras Network
    • Humanity & Inclusion
    • humedica international aid
    • International Medical Corps
    • International Rescue Committee
    • Médecins du Monde
    • MercyCorps
    • Orange Organization
    • Norwegian People’s Aid
    • Norwegian Refugee Council
    • Peace Winds Japan
    • People In Need
    • Right To Play
    • Save The Children 
    • SAMS
    • Solidarités International
    • Syria Relief
    • Syria Relief & Development
    • Terre des Hommes
    • Terre des Hommes Italia
    • Trócaire
    • WeWorld-GVC
    • War Child
    • World Vision

     ENDS


    Additional references

    Data on poverty via ICRC, https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-economic-crisis-compounds-conflict-misery-millions-face-deeper

    Data on food insecurity via World Food Programme, https://www.wfp.org/news/twelve-million-syrians-now-grip-hunger-worn-down-conflict-and-soaring-food-prices

    Data on access to water via UNICEF, https://www.unicef.org/syria/water-sanitation-and-hygiene

    Data on education via UNICEF, https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/after-almost-ten-years-war-syria-more-half-children-continue-be-deprived-education

    Data on scale of the displacement via UNHCR, https://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/20/world/unhcr-displaced-peoples-report/index.html

    Data on refugees via Unicef https://www.unicef.org/appeals/syrian-refugees and 3RP, http://www.3rpsyriacrisis.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/RNO_3RP.pdf

    Data on internally displaced people via UNHCR, https://www.unhcr.org/sy/internally-displaced-people


  • Countries debate draft political declaration to protect civilians from bombing in populated areas

    March 03, 2021
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Devastated cities in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and beyond; thousands of families unable to return home because of destruction and explosive contamination; lives shattered by death and disabling injuries… States must urgently resolve the problem of bombing in populated areas.  

    Silver Spring, MD—States meet March 3-5, to addresses the well-documented civilian harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and to continue critical work toward a new political declaration protecting civilians from this practice. The negotiations resume online after months of interruption due to COVID-19.

    This Ireland-led process started in October 2019. The latest draft (Jan. 29) of the political declaration is available to read online with the title “Draft Political Declaration on Strengthening the Protection of Civilians from the Humanitarian Consequences that can arise from the use of Explosive Weapons with Wide Area Effects in Populated Areas.” More than 70 States are involved in drafting the international agreement. States will meet again in the spring in Geneva to negotiate the final text—the last chapter before the international agreement will be opened for signature at a subsequent conference in 2021.

    Humanity & Inclusion calls on States to actively participate and to support a strong agreement to guarantee civilians’ protection against urban bombings.

    Proposed text doesn’t go far enough

    The international agreement would bring undeniable progress for the protection of civilians in modern conflict. Proposed text for the international agreement to address the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is circulating among State’s delegations. Text improvements are still needed:

    • Civilian harm and suffering. The text should clearly describe and acknowledge the civilian harm and suffering that result from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, 90% of victims are civilians. The text must also recognize the long-term humanitarian impact of bombing in populated areas: Destruction of vital infrastructure, long-term displacement, contamination of land by explosive remnants…
    • Systematic harm on civilians. The draft text states that the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas “can” have devastating impacts on civilians. The use of the word “can” is misleading: Evidence shows that these weapons always impact civilians when used in cities. This is why ICRC and the UN-General Secretary asked States to avoid the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas. Therefore, the political declaration must call for an end to the use of explosive weapons with wide-areas effect - the most destructive weapons - in populated areas.
    • Wide-area effects. The draft declaration relates to explosive weapons with wide area effects but does not sufficiently explain the characteristics of these weapons: Many explosive weapons with wide-area effects used in urban warfare were originally designed for open battlefields. Heavy bombs and inaccurate weapons put entire neighborhoods at risk, multiple rocket systems simultaneously fire over a wide area, munitions produce large blast and fragmentation effects...
    • Victim assistance. Humanity & Inclusion appreciates that victim assistance is part of the political declaration. But the commitment to assist victims should be strengthened and made concrete enough to bring effective relief for those injured, survivors, family members of people killed and/or injured and affected communities.

    Some States underplay danger

    • In their last written contributions to the text of the political declaration some States - notably France, Belgium, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany - related the problem of human suffering caused by explosive weapons to the “indiscriminate use” of these weapons and introduced the modifying “can” language. The text should definitively address the indiscriminate or disproportionate effects of these weapons, especially the effects of explosive weapons with wide-area effects, as it is well documented that their use in populated areas is always indiscriminate.

    • Some States, like the United States or France in their joint paper, prefer to focus on violations by non-States armed groups. This reduces the scope of a political declaration and leaves out the responsibility of all States party to a conflict. The United States' written submission on the draft text from 2020 may be read online here.

    • Humanity & Inclusion considers that there is a minimum standard on which States have to agree on: States should unconditionally support not to use the most destructive weapons in cities, as the United Nations and ICRC urged in 2019.

    During the March 3-5 discussions, any new written submissions from States on the draft will be published on this web page.

    Reaching an international agreement

    Humanity & Inclusion and members of the International Network of Explosive Weapons (INEW) are working with States to convince them to fully support a strong political declaration to end human suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas and to ensure support to the victims of these weapons.

    The draft of the international agreement is at its final stages of negotiation between States, UN agencies, international organizations and civil society.

     

    About Humanity & Inclusion

    Humanity & Inclusion is an independent international aid organization. It has been working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster for 39 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, our action and testimony are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions, and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Since it was founded in 1982, Humanity & Inclusion has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, jointly manage projects, and to increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 and the winner of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2011. Humanity & Inclusion acts and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task.

     


  • HI welcomes temporary freeze of U.S. arms sales to parties to Yemen conflict

    January 28, 2021
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion, offered the following comment on the Biden Administration's decision to review weapons sales to parties to the conflict in Yemen

    "This decision is a first step to stop fueling the conflict in Yemen. Humanity & Inclusion encourages the Biden Administration to permanently bar any arms sales that would cause harm to civilian populations.

    “The conflict has resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and widespread hunger. Continuous fighting and massive use of explosive weapons in urban areas have had disastrous humanitarian consequences for civilians. March 26th marks the 6th anniversary of the conflict, and Yemen is today the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Arms sales have been a major driving factor of this catastrophe.

    “On this conflict, States must make a choice: selling weapons to belligerents or protecting civilians. Humanity & Inclusion calls on States to make the right decision by definitively suspending their arms sales to parties to the conflict. France, the United Kingdom and any State selling arms to parties to the conflict must acknowledge their responsibility and put an end to their exports. Every day, our teams in Yemen care for people whose lives, bodies and minds have been torn apart by violence.”

    Approximately 20,000 civilians have been killed in Yemen. 20.1 million people—nearly two-thirds of the population—required food assistance in 2020, making Yemen the world’s worst food security crisis (Human Rights Watch, 2021). 80% of Yemen’s population need humanitarian aid, including over 12 million children (UNICEF).

    Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation work in Yemen

    • Teams operate in nine health facilities across Sanaa, Aden and Mokha and have supported 30,000 beneficiaries since its recent operations started in late 2015.
    • 34,000 mobility aids have been distributed since 2015. This includes equipment such as crutches, wheelchairs, walking sticks/canes, walkers…
    • Almost 500 people have been provided with braces or artificial limbs
    • Humanity & Inclusion has helped train almost 900 medical professionals

  • Aid agencies make unprecedented and united call for Biden administration to revoke Ansar Allah terrorist designation

    January 25, 2021
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Twenty-one aid organizations working in Yemen remain extremely concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the designation of Ansar Allah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) which came into effect on January 19. This designation comes at a time when famine is a very real threat to a country devastated by six years of conflict, and it must be revoked immediately. Any disruption to lifesaving aid operations and commercial imports of food, fuel, medicine and other essential goods will put millions of lives at risk.

    The four general licenses issued by the U.S. government aim to allow the continued flow of aid to Yemen, seeking to mitigate the impacts of the designations by providing broad authorizations for humanitarian organizations, and some commercial imports. The legal implications of the designation and its impact on our work on the ground are yet to be fully clarified and understood. However, it is already clear that even with licenses and exemptions in place for humanitarian work, the designation will have serious implications, causing delays and uncertainty in our ability to deliver assistance, making it even more difficult to operate in Yemen, particularly in areas controlled by the Ansar Allah de facto authorities which are home to the majority of people in need.

    In addition to the lack of clarity on the humanitarian activities authorized in the licenses, we have grave concerns that the licenses do not cover enough of the commercial sector. This will cause disruptions as the licenses and associated guidance do not provide sufficient guarantees to international banks, shipping companies and suppliers that still face the risk of falling foul of U.S. laws. As a result, many in the commercial sector will likely feel the risk is too high to continue working in Yemen. Yemeni import companies, which bring in 80% to 90% of the country’s food, fuel and medicines, are already warning that they may have to shut down business. Crucially, this will drive up prices of food, fuel and other basic goods, bringing these essential items even further out of people’s reach in a country where 16 million people are close to starvation. Disruptions to the commercial sector, and increased prices will also affect humanitarian programs as aid agencies are reliant on local markets to source supplies and transport goods across the country. For example, further disruptions to fuel imports will escalate a long running fuel crisis in the country and will impact the provision of clean water, public transport, agriculture, powering generators in hospitals and other services supported by the humanitarian response. Aid agencies cannot fill the gap or replace the commercial sector, even with licenses or other exemptions in place: the scale is too immense.

    Yemen’s economy is seeing record levels of inflation and Covid-19 has heavily impacted people’s livelihoods. This designation will likely mean that banks will stop lending money and providing financial services to Yemen as we have seen in other contexts. Yemenis working abroad who send money home to their families will struggle to do so through formal channels. Remittances are a lifeline, with up to one in ten Yemenis relying on them to meet their essential needs. They are the biggest source of foreign exchange into the country, making up to 20% of the country’s GDP. Yemen’s access to foreign currency which is already limited will be further threatened, making it even more difficult to import goods and pushing inflation even higher. Humanitarian organizations are concerned the designation will make it even more difficult to access financial services, to wire money in to Yemen, to make bank transfers, pay staff salaries and to deliver cash programs which make up a significant portion of the food security response in Yemen. Humanitarian exemptions will not be able to shield the country from another major economic shock at a time when people are struggling to make ends meet.

    This is why today we make an unprecedented and united call for the Biden administration to immediately revoke the designation. This echoes the urgent calls made by UN leaders during the January 14, United Nations Security Council briefing on Yemen. Revocation is the only effective way to protect Yemeni civilians from the potentially catastrophic humanitarian impact the designation will cause.

    Finally, the designation of Ansar Allah as a terrorist organization will likely hurt UN-led efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, as Martin Griffiths warned in his Security Council briefing. By supporting the UN-led peace process – the only sustainable solution to the crisis in Yemen – the new Biden administration still has the chance to reverse the course of the designation and instead mobilize the warring parties and international community to end the conflict and suffering.

    Signatories

    ACTED 
    Action contre la Faim
    ADRA
    CARE International
    Danish Refugee Council
    Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe
    Direct Aid
    Global Communities
    HALO Trust
    Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion
    International Rescue Committee
    INTERSOS
    Islamic Relief
    Médecins du monde
    Mercy Corps
    Norwegian Refugee Council
    Oxfam
    Première Urgence
    Aide Médicale Internationale
    Relief International
    Save the Children
    Search for Common Ground


  • Yemen | HI warns of grave humanitarian consequences following U.S. designation of Ansar Allah (Houthis) as a terrorist organization

    January 12, 2021
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Humanity & Inclusion issued the following comments on January 12, 2021 

    "The United States​' decision to designate de facto authorities in northern Yemen as 'terrorist' groups​ and their leaders as 'terrorists' will worsen an already untenable humanitarian crisis," says Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director of Humanity & Inclusion.

    "The international community must condemn this decision, and in no way echo it in their own designations. We call on​ the newly elected Biden administration to provide clear, applicable and ready-to-use safeguard mechanisms for humanitarian organizations to work in the region​ without interruption. Continuity of critical humanitarian activities ​and many thousands of lives are at risk without a humanitarian exemption. In our efforts to ​save lives by delivering aid and care, humanitarian organizations ​and their staff should not be criminalized."

    "The population's access to basic goods hangs in the balance," adds Caroline Dauber, Head of Humanity & Inclusion's program in Yemen. "Yemen is particularly dependent on imports of essential products such as food, medicines, and fuel, while the country's economy is devastated by almost six years of conflict. The terrorist designations also hamper the work of international organizations, which already face many obstacles to providing aid. They will limit Humanity & Inclusion’s capacity to enter into contact with the de facto authority and to negotiate safe and unimpeded humanitarian access. What’s more, they will limit Humanity & Inclusion's capacity to use the local banking system, pay medical staff, ​and to buy food and oil, which are essential activities ​for humanitarian programs."

    Yemen, where 80% of the population depends on international aid, is already described by the UN as the 'worst humanitarian crisis in the world.' Last November UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned of the "imminent threat of the worst famine the world has seen in decades.”

     

    Experts available

    Humanity & Inclusion experts are available for comment.
    Contact Mica Bevington | +1 202-290-9264

    Humanity & Inclusion in Yemen 

    Humanity & Inclusion has worked in Yemen since 2000, with a pause in operations between 2012 and 2014. Today, we provide direct services to individuals affected by the ongoing conflict, particularly people with disabilities, through rehabilitation care and psychosocial support at public health facilities in and around Sana’a city. Our teams work to ensure that injured Yemenis and people with disabilities have access to urgent and qualitative rehabilitation services in Aden and Abyan governorates. A June 2020 report on the legacy of explosive weapons in Yemen and how these indiscriminate weapons damage infrastructure & impact civilian lives for decades provides a stark illustration of what civilians endure in Yemen.

    About Humanity & Inclusion

    Humanity & Inclusion is an independent international aid organization. It has been working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster for 39 years. Working alongside people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, our actions and voice are focused on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Since its founding in 1982, Humanity & Inclusion (the new name of Handicap International) has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. There are eight national associations within the network (Germany, Belgium, Canada, United States, France, Luxembourg, UK and Switzerland), working tirelessly to mobilize resources, co-manage projects and increase the impact of the organization’s principles and actions. Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize and winner of the 2011 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Humanity & Inclusion takes action and campaigns in places where “living in dignity” is no easy task.”


  • Statement | Response to Jan. 6 violence on Capitol Hill

    January 08, 2021
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    U.S. Executive Director Jeff Meer provided the following statement on the Jan. 6, 2021, mob attack on Capitol Hill.

    Humanity & Inclusion bears witness in more than 55 countries every day to injustice,  inequality, and deprivation of rights. We know too well the consequences when individuals and groups resort to violence, instead of taking part in civil discourse and peaceful political participation. As an organization, we were deeply outraged by the attack this week on the U.S. Capitol. 

    This violent act by thousands of individuals intent on stopping an essential process of democracy—the peaceful transfer of power—reinforces our belief that the will of the people, expressed through democratic means, should never be held hostage by violence. We condemn in the strongest terms the anti-democratic actions of the mob, and emphasize the right of all individuals, no matter their background, to participate freely and peacefully in civil society.


  • Statement | Relocation of thousands of Rohingya refugees to island in the Bay of Bengal

    Authorities in Bangladesh are relocating thousands of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, an island in the Bay of Bengal. 750,000 Rohingya—including more than 400,000 children—have been refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, since an eruption of violence in Myanmar in August 2017. Gilles Nouzies, Head of Humanity & Inclusion's Asia programs, shares the following statement:

    “Any project to relocate Rohingya refugees from Cox’s Bazar camps to the island of Bhasan Char should only proceed if the United Nations deems the island both habitable and assures the human rights of residents: Rohingyas should be guaranteed the right to free movement, safety, healthcare, education, legal support and livelihoods... Any relocation or repatriation of Rohingya refugees should also be voluntary-based and done with their clear consent.”


  • New USAID award for strengthening physical rehabilitation in health systems

    Humanity & Inclusion is delighted to join the Learning, Acting and Building for Rehabilitation in Health Systems consortium (ReLAB-HS). Along with consortium partners, we will implement this flagship program that will address the growing global need for physical rehabilitation, including appropriate assistive technology, services. ReLAB-HS is funded by an award from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Leahy War Victims Fund (LWVF).

    ReLab-HS aims to strengthen the development of responsive and sustainable physical rehabilitation services across the lifespan in the communities where they are most needed, as well as building health system governance and employing the use of technology and digital assets to improve physical rehabilitation globally.

    The need for physical rehabilitation services, including assistive technology, is urgent and growing—more than 2.4 billion people worldwide are estimated to benefit from physical rehabilitation services. The proportion of the population over 60 will double in the next 30 years the majority of whom will live with chronic disease. Approximately 150 million children and adolescents experience disabilities, and injuries for people of all ages are becoming more frequent due to conflict, rapid urbanization and motorization. These enormous unmet rehabilitation needs are concentrated amongst the poorest and most vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries and conflict-affected settings.

    This five-year, $39.5 million program will transform the way people think about physical rehabilitation as part of health systems. It will work globally and in a number of low- and middle-income countries with varying levels of physical rehabilitation need and infrastructure. ReLAB-HS presents a genuine opportunity to provide real improvements in the quality of life, functionality and independence for people through simple interventions at the primary care level, and the use of technology to bring physical rehabilitation further into community settings.

    ReLAB-HS will focus on building local and international leadership, crafting local, demand-driven approaches and innovations, and working largely in community and at home settings, implementing real and relevant rehabilitation and policy solutions.

    “Our team at the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit has long focused its expertise to address the chronic consequences of disease, including injuries and other non-communicable diseases, across the lifespan in low- and middle-income countries," said Dr. Abdul Bachani.  

    "Through this program, we’ll not only address global issues head on, but work with international partners in a uniquely talented consortium. We are pleased to receive support from USAID and work towards mainstreaming rehabilitation services within health systems. By making them more effective and accessible, we can improve the overall health and well-being of the broader population." 

    ReLAB-HS will be led through the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA and co-led by the Nossal Institute for Global Health, Australia. Other consortium members include MiracleFeet, Physiopedia, and UCP Wheels for Humanity.

    Humanity & Inclusion looks forward to working in partnership on this program to support the development responsive rehabilitation services that can meet this escalating global challenge.


    More information

    Please contact: [email protected]

    https://www.relabhs.org/

    ReLAB-HS Partners

    ReLAB-Partners.jpg


  • Nepal | A celebration and a challenge on International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is annually observed on 3rd December to promote the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities and to take action for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society and development.

    Read more

  • Born with a physical disability, Amie is now learning to read and write

    Amie loves school and seeing her friends in the classroom, but she struggles to hold her pencil. Born with a physical disability that causes weakness of her limbs and coordination issues, Amie has difficulties using her arms, hands and legs. Now, through modifications made to Amie’s school in Sierra Leone and personalized instruction in the classroom, Amie has the support she needs and is learning to read and write.

    Through one of its many education projects in Sierra Leone, Humanity & Inclusion teamed Amie with Abdul, an itinerant teacher who is trained to work with students with disabilities. Abdul visits Amie at school twice a month and checks in on her at her rural home each week. Working closely with Amie’s teacher and parents, Abdul developed an individual education plan for the spunky 7-year-old. Every month they meet to go over Amie’s progress and make sure she’s receiving the support she needs.

    Amie also happens to attend SLMB Primary School in Mano Junction, Kenema, which is one of the Girls Education Challenge Transition initiative’s model schools that has been outfitted with ramps, accessible toilets, wider doorways, classrooms with larger windows and brighter paint to assist students with low vision to make learning more accessible for students like Amie who are living with disabilities.

    Today, Amie is a confident little girl who is feeling more supported in school and destined to succeed.

     


  • Philippines | Assisting people in Typhoon Goni’s wake

    Humanity & Inclusion donors continue to help victims of Typhoon Goni, which delivered a serious punch to the Philippines in early November. Teams are distributing temporary shelter kits and providing financial assistance.

    Read more

  • New report | Fight to eradicate cluster munitions is far from over

    November 25, 2020
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Released today, the 2020 Cluster Munition Monitor report reveals that attacks involving cluster munitions continued to occur in Syria in 2019. The Monitor has recorded almost 700 cluster munition attacks in Syria since mid-2012. Globally in 2019, at least 286 people were killed or injured by cluster munition attacks and remnants in a total of nine countries and two territories. Victims are always civilians, says the report.

    Download the report here

    Recent uses in the Armenia-Azerbaijan war (not registered in the Monitor 2020, covering year 2019) show that the fight to eradicate this weapon is far from over. The 2nd Review Conference of the Oslo Convention, which bans cluster munitions, is due to take place online on November 25 to 27. Humanity & Inclusion calls on all states to systematically condemn any use by any party to a conflict, under any circumstances of these barbaric weapons and is requesting all states not yet party to join this live-saving convention.

    “There is a reason why cluster munitions are banned," says Jeff Meer, U.S. Executive Director for Humanity & Inclusion. "Cluster bombs almost exclusively target civilians. They explode in the air and send hundreds of small bomblets over an area the size of a football field. They are indiscriminate weapons. Plus, up to 40% of these bomblets fail to explode on impact, contaminating areas just like landmines.”

    Major findings

    Between July 2019 and July 2020, new uses of cluster munitions were reported in Syria and Libya: At least 11 cluster munition attacks occurred in Syria between August 2019 and July 2020. Since mid-2012, the Monitor has recorded at least 686 cluster munition attacks in the country. In 2019, there were also several instances or allegations of cluster munition use in Libya.

    The Monitor recorded 286 new cluster munition casualties in 2019 globally caused either by attacks using these weapons (221) or as a result of cluster munition remnants (65). It represents a sharp decline from 951 recorded in 2016, mainly due to a change in the Syrian conflict context.

    Victims of cluster munitions are always civilians: According to successive Monitor reports, 99% of cluster munition victims are civilians. The majority of annual casualties in 2019 (80%) were recorded in Syria, as has been the case since 2012. In Syria, 219 casualties of cluster munition attacks and 13 casualties of cluster munition remnants were reported in this country in 2019, knowing that the actual figures are likely to be higher due to limited access and difficulties collecting data.

    "Any new uses should be condemned by States," says Anne Héry, Humanity & Inclusion’s Advocacy Director. "Only by systematically condemning and stigmatizing their use and calling on all states to join the treaty, will the international community be able to eventually eradicate the use of cluster munitions.”

    In 2019, Iraq had the highest recorded casualties due to cluster munition remnants (20). Victims of cluster munition remnants were also recorded in Yemen (9) and Afghanistan (5). 40 years after the conflict, casualties continue to be recorded in Lao PDR (5). These figures highlight the dramatic consequences of using cluster munitions, which create long-term contamination by explosive remnants and a deadly threat for the population.

    "The Oslo Convention has made great strides in protecting civilians against the scourge of cluster munitions: every year, existing stockpiles are destroyed and significant areas of contaminated land are cleared, and the weapons are increasingly stigmatized," notes Meer. "State Parties have also made a lot of progress with respect to victim assistance, but the countries affected are still finding it difficult to fund necessary services for victims, who all too often live in extremely difficult conditions."

    Up to 40% of cluster munitions do not explode on impact when they are launched during an attack, but remain as active deadly device that can explode any time. In 2019, casualties from such unexploded cluster munition remnants were recorded in 9 countries and two territories: Afghanistan, Iraq, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Libya, Serbia, South Sudan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria, Yemen and Western Sahara.

    Since the Convention came into force on August 1, 2010, 35 State Parties have destroyed 1.5 million cluster munition stockpiles, i.e. a total of 178 million sub-munitions. This represents 99% of all cluster munitions declared by State Parties. In total, 23 states and 3 regions remain contaminated by sub-munition remnants.

    Recent uses by Azerbaijan and Armenia forces

    Recent uses by Azerbaijan and Armenia forces occurred in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They were not registered in the Monitor 2020, which covers 2019. According to Human Rights Watch, Armenian forces either fired or supplied cluster munitions in an attack on Barda city, reportedly killing at least 21 civilians and wounded at least another 70. The Azerbaijan army used cluster munitions in at least four separate incidents.

    These recent uses – and the ones registered in Syria and Libya by the Monitor 2020 – must incite more States to join the Oslo Convention that since 2010 bans the use, production, transfer and storage of cluster munitions. So far, 110 are States parties to the Convention and 13 signatories. Azerbaijan, Armenia and Syria did not sign the Convention yet, also countries like United States Russia and China continue to refuse to join it. The Oslo Convention must become a universal norm.

     


    More information

    Cluster bombs

    Cluster bombs are weapons containing several hundred mini-bombs called cluster munitions. Designed to be scattered over large areas, they inevitably fall in civilian neighborhoods. Up to 40% do not explode on impact. Like anti-personnel mines, they can be triggered by the slightest contact, killing and maiming people during and after conflicts. As they make no distinction between civilians, civilian property and military targets, cluster bombs violate the rules of international humanitarian law.

    The Oslo Convention

    The Convention bans the use, storage, transfer, production and sale of cluster munitions, was opened for signature in December 2008. Currently, 123 countries have joined the convention.

    Cluster Munition Monitor

    The 2020 Cluster Munition Monitor report assesses the implementation of the Oslo Convention which bans the use, production, transfer and storage of cluster munitions, for the period from January to December 2019, with information included up to September 2020 where available.


  • Half of children with disabilities still excluded from school

    Humanity & Inclusion has published a report on November 20, on the difficulties children with disabilities face in accessing education in the world’s poorest countries.

    Download the report here

    Valentina Pomatto, Inclusion Advocacy Officer for Humanity & Inclusion, explains the obstacles of inclusive education.

    Read more

  • published We are grateful 2020-11-20 10:09:39 -0500

    Thank you for your donation!

    Between March and August 2020, Humanity & Inclusion donors just like you helped 2.2 million people protect themselves from Covid-19. Meanwhile, amid the pandemic, Humanity & Inclusion emergency teams responded to the Beirut Explosions that rocked the city in August, while teams in the Philippines launched emergency responses to help people who had lost everything when back-to-back typhoons stuck their country. Physical therapists in dozens of countries helped victims of conflict regain their strength and dignity after weapons struck their bodies, and shattered their spirits. All the while, our advocates demanded, in no uncertain terms, that countries stop bombing civilians. 

    These are just a few of the incredible ways our donors make a profound difference.

    If this is your first gift to Humanity & Inclusion, we welcome you to their company. If this is one of many gifts you've made to Humanity & Inclusion, we welcome you home.

    It would mean so much to us if you'd take a minute to tell us more about yourself, and the inspiration behind today's gift. If time permits, we ask three quick questions below. Thank you.

    Take the survey

  • Aid groups warn G20 leaders must act to prevent humanitarian catastrophe in wake of Covid-19 economic recession

    November 19, 2020
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Saudi Arabia on November 21, 11 aid organizations are calling for early action to prevent soaring rates of hunger and malnutrition resulting from the pandemic-related global economic recession. 

    “We are seeing spiraling levels of poverty and hunger among refugees and conflict-affected people. Hundreds of thousands still risk being kicked out of their homes, and millions are skipping meals and dropping out of school. The economic impacts of Covid-19 are having a devastating effect on the world’s most vulnerable. G20 leaders have the opportunity and means to address this growing crisis. They must take it,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

    The World Bank estimates that up to 150 million people may be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021. In June, the International Rescue Committee calculated that the anticipated economic contraction could push 54 million more people in developing countries into hunger; October’s downgraded global GDP forecast puts that estimate at 91 million.

    Displaced and conflict-affected communities are particularly vulnerable. In recent research by the Norwegian Refugee Council across 14 crisis-affected countries, 77 per cent of survey respondents stated that they had lost a job or income from work since the pandemic broke out, resulting in 73 per cent cutting the number of household meals. The World Food Programme recently warned of the increased risk of famine in four countries, citing the impacts of Covid-19 as one contributing factor.    

    “The G20 has pledged to do ‘whatever it takes’ to support the global economy during this period of emergency. This must include increased financial support to refugees and displaced people, and action to avert food crises. So far, the G20 has failed to make anything close to the commitments required,” said Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director of Action Against Hunger UK.

    The UN’s Covid-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020 remains only 38 per cent funded as of the middle of November 2020. Commitments tooffer swift support for the poorest through safety nets and cash transfer programs have not been met. The World Bank itself has called for “much more broad-based international action”. 

    “Early and sustained action by the G20 will not only save the lives and livelihoods of millions, but will prevent the crisis from worsening and build on past development investments made by G20 members,” said David Miliband, CEO and President of the International Rescue Committee. “This must be on the agenda for all G20 members at the upcoming summit.”   

    “Humanity and Inclusion works with long-term Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan," said Anne Héry, Director of Advocacy and Institutional relations. "Since the COVID-19 restrictions, many have lost their jobs and the income that allowed them to buy basic goods and food. We see many parents reducing their consumption of food in order to spare a meal for their children. But in many cases, the whole family is impacted. Malnutrition can have a serious impact on a child’s development. For an adult, it makes them weaker and more prone to disease. There are around 80 million refugees and displaced persons around the world. They are already vulnerable as they have often lost everything – their homes, jobs, close ones... For them, the consequences of the COVID-19 restrictions could be particularly devastating.”

    G20 leaders should: 

    1. Update the G20 Covid-19 Action plan to address the high risks of food insecurity and malnutrition in fragile and conflict-affected states;
    2. Agree to expand inclusive social protection in fragile and conflict-affected states, and coordinate with humanitarian cash providers to reach those at risk of exclusion, including directing multilateral development banks towards this end; and 
    3.  Commit to fully fund the UN’s Covid-19 aid appeals and all UN led Humanitarian Response Plans for both 2020 and 2021. This funding should be fully flexible to allow organizations to adapt and respond to the crisis, and stay and deliver where this is most needed.

    Signed

    Action Against Hunger UK

    Care International UK

    Christian Aid

    Federation Handicap International - Humanity & Inclusion

    HelpAge International

    Mercy Corps

    International Rescue Committee

    Norwegian Refugee Council

    Oxfam GB

    Save the Children

    Start Network

     

    Notes to editors

    Reports referenced in this press release can be viewed below:

     

     

     


  • Covid-19 disrupts mine action as new report shows more than 5,500 landmine victims per year

    November 12, 2020
    Contact: Mica Bevington
    3019201427

    Published on Thursday November 12, the Landmine Monitor 2020 reports an exceptionally high number of casualties caused by landmines, particularly explosive remnants of war (ERW) and improvised mines, for the fifth year running.

    The Monitor recorded 5,554 mine casualties during 2019; 80% of whom were civilians, with children representing 43% of the civilian casualties. This high figure is mainly due to intense armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria and other conflict areas. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is calling on states – that will gather online from November 16th-20th for the annual Mine Ban Treaty conference - to enforce international humanitarian law and to put pressure on belligerent parties to end the use of these barbaric weapons. As the COVID-19 pandemic challenges humanitarian mine action in many countries, HI is also calling on states to maintain efforts to adapt mine action activities to public health restrictions in order to free the world of mines.

    High casualties rates for five consecutive years

    The Landmine Monitor reveals that the number of new casualties of landmines and explosive remnants of war reached 5,554 in 2019 and remains high for the fifth year in a row (6,897 in 2018, 7,253 in 2017, 9,439 in 2016 and 6,971 in 2015). The 2019 total is still 60% higher than the lowest determined annual number of 3,457 casualties in 2013. There was an average of 10 casualties per day in 2013; in 2019, the rate rocketed to 15 casualties per day. The Monitor underlines that casualties go unrecorded in many states and areas, meaning the true casualty figure is likely significantly higher.

    For the fourth successive year, in 2019, the highest number of annual casualties was caused by improvised mines. Out of a total of 5,554 mine casualties recorded in 2019, 2,994 people were killed or injured by improvised mines.

    Though mainly used by non-state armed groups, improvised landmines fall within the scope of the Ottawa Treaty and its prohibition of the use of any indiscriminate weapons. Dialogue with some non-state armed groups to convince them to abandon such practices and to commit to the Treaty is possible. Mine clearance – which is an obligation of the Ottawa Treaty - is a way to deny these groups access to weapons and munitions as many improvised mines are made using disposed of explosives or remnants of them.

    The vast majority of people killed by anti-personnel mines are civilians: 80% of casualties were civilians in 2019 (4,466), of whom 43% were children (1,562). Explosive remnants of war caused the most child casualties (756, or 49%).  In 2019, the majority of new casualties of landmines and explosive remnants of war were recorded in Afghanistan (1,538), Syria (1,125), Myanmar (358), Mali (345), Ukraine (324), Yemen (248), Nigeria (238) and Iraq (161). Mine casualties were recorded in 50 states and five territories around the world.

    Large numbers of casualties are still driven by relatively few countries with intensive armed conflicts, involving the large-scale use of improvised mines, like Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, etc," says Anne Héry, Humanity & Inclusion’s Advocacy Director. "Mines kill or cause complex injuries, often with serious disabling sequelae, and serious psychological trauma. The disability caused by mines - often following the amputation of a lower limb - is accompanied by social stigmatization. Add to this the challenge of finding work, and it becomes difficult for survivors to return to normal life. We must constantly remind all parties to conflicts that the use of these weapons is banned and that international law must be respected.

    New reported mine use

    The Landmine Monitor confirmed new uses of anti-personnel mines by government forces in Myanmar between October 2019 and October 2020. Non-State armed groups also used landmines, including improvised mines, in at least six countries: Afghanistan, Colombia, India, Libya, Myanmar, and Pakistan. The Monitor also says there were as yet unconfirmed allegations of new mine use by non-state armed groups in 12 countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, etc.) These uses have caused high-level contamination that will endanger the lives of thousands of people over the long-term. A total of 60 states and territories have been contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war around the world.

    COVID-19 impacts mine action

    Measures against COVID-19 had a serious impact on mine action in 2020. Restrictions prevented survivors and other persons with disability from accessing services they needed (rehabilitation, social services, etc.) in several mine-affected countries. Clearance was temporally suspended as well as risk education sessions that were adapted to constraints and restrictions against the pandemic.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted mine action in 2020," Héry notes. "Mine clearance, risk education –which is often based on face to face sessions – and victim assistance were temporarily suspended in many countries and had to be adapted to COVID-19 restrictions. Funds initially dedicated to mine action were also reallocated to the pandemic. As millions of people in 60 states and territories are still living under the threat of mines, states must maintain their commitment in the fight against landmines in order to reach a world free of mines in 2025."

    Notes

    • You can access a copy of the Landmine Monitor 2020 at this link. Or, you can directly download a copy here.
    • Humanity & Inclusion’s advocacy & mine action experts available for interview
    • The Ottawa Treaty bans the acquisition, production, stockpiling, trade and use of anti-personnel mines. The treaty was opened for signing on December 3, 1997 and entered into force on March 1, 1999. A total of 164 states are party to the treaty and one state (the Marshall Islands) has signed but not ratified the treaty.
    • The United States of America is not a party to the Mine Ban Treaty.
    • In January 2020, President Trump issued a new landmine policy, allowing for the use of landmines, as well as development of future mines.
    • The U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines, of which Humanity & Inclusion is a member and current coordinator, has set out guidelines for the next U.S. President to reverse this policy, and to join the Mine Ban Treaty. The USCLB policy paper can be found here.
    • The Landmine Monitor 2020 report measures the impact of the Ottawa Treaty, which bans the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of anti-personnel mines for the calendar year 2019, with information included up to October 2020 when possible.

    About Humanity & Inclusion  

    Co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, Humanity & Inclusion is a charity working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. We work tirelessly alongside people with disabilities and vulnerable people to help meet their basic needs, improve their living conditions and promote respect for their dignity and fundamental rights.

    For the past 39 years, Humanity & Inclusion has been campaigning against anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs, with projects ranging from bomb clearance, risk education to teach civilians about the dangers of these weapons and victim assistance. The group's joint advocacy work led to the signing of the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention (1997) and the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions (2008). Humanity & Inclusion is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and co-founder of the Cluster Munition Coalition.

    Humanity & Inclusion is the new name of Handicap International.


  • Nicaragua | Concern for most vulnerable people in Hurricane Iota's path

    Category 4 Hurricane Iota hit the coasts of Nicaragua and Honduras late Monday night, November 16, causing fears of disastrous consequences for the populations of these two countries. Humanity & Inclusion is particularly concerned about the threats to the most fragile populations.

    Hurricane Iota had reached category 5 yesterday, before being downgraded to category 4 and now to category 2. It could do very significant damage, having arrived with sustained winds of 155mph. Nicaraguan, Honduran and Guatemalan authorities had evacuated tens of thousands of people to shelters in reception centers, permanent buildings that should endure the storm.

    Hurricane Iota hit an area of Nicaragua that endured another hurricane, Eta, just two weeks ago. That storm destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, affecting nearly 2.5 million people.

    Iota's arrival, packing stronger winds and storm surge, could considerably worsen the situation, as torrential rains drench areas that have already been affected by flooding.

    Humanity & Inclusion is concerned about the situation of the most vulnerable people, including people with disabilities, who are particularly exposed in this kind of disaster and need assistance to access aid.

    "People living in Central America, particularly in Nicaragua, are likely to be severely affected," explains Dominique Delvigne, geographical director for Humanity & lnclusion. "It is likely that many families will find themselves without housing, lose their means of subsistence (agricultural production, etc.) and struggle to access to drinking water."

    Humanity & Inclusion first began working in Nicaragua in 1997, the year before Hurricane Mitch devastated the country and wider Central American region. However, teams are not currently present in the countries affected by the hurricane. The organization's emergency division is on standby to assess the hurricane's damages, and to determine what actions could be taken to help the most vulnerable people.

     


  • Covid-19 | 1,000 online rehabilitation sessions for Nepali patients

    Humanity & Inclusion has adapted its activities to the Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal, where more than 202,000 people have contracted the coronavirus (as of Nov. 11, 2020)

    Read more

  • donated 2021-06-09 14:13:50 -0400