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‘Persons With Disabilities Most Vulnerable To Climate Change Impacts’

‘Persons With Disabilities Most Vulnerable To Climate Change Impacts’
Naomi Navoce from the Pacific Disability Forum delivers her speech during the CAPP Confrence at the GPH on July 26,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.
July 27
10:31 2018

In terms of vulnerabilities to climate change, Naomi Navoce says persons with disabilities are the most vulnerable in terms of its impacts.

“Mortality rates of persons with disabilities in times of disaster are two to four times higher than those without disabilities,” she said.

The Pacific Disability Forum representative aired her concern during the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) conference.

The theme of the conference underway at the Grand Pacific Hotel is “A Pacific Talanoa For Resilience, Ambition And Urgency”.

Pacific persons with disabilities are often unable to access humanitarian assistance due to the inaccessibility of humanitarian services, and non-availability of reasonable accommodation to accommodate their disability-specific needs, Ms Navoce said.

She said in terms of being voiceless, they were often left out of the Talanoa room because many assumed that they could not effectively contribute to these talanoa.

“Or the venue, information or communication were not accessible for persons with disabilities,” she said.

“The loss of accessibility and damages to assistive devices during extreme weather events had multiple impacts on the lives of persons with disabilities.

“This means they also lose access to health, education, food source, livelihood and other aspects of their lives.

“These contribute to our effective participation in society and live independently on an equal basis with others in their communities.”

In terms of being marginalised and discriminated, she said persons with disabilities were left out of response and rehabilitation process when disaster struck.

She said they were often unable to access humanitarian assistance due to the inaccessibility of humanitarian services, and non-availability of reasonable accommodation to accommodate their disability-specific needs.

She said they were often left out of the Talanoa room because they were persons with disabilities or because they could not effectively participate as the venue, information or communication are not accessible to them.

No one she said must be left behind and the discussion must guarantee that all Pacific people were in the canoe and paddling towards the same direction.

Edited by Percy Kean

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