Experts for inclusion of disabled people in DRR

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 DHAKA, May 15, 2018 (BSS) – Experts at a conference here today stressed the need for inclusion of disabled people in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

“Apart from the government efforts, family members of disabled people should be prepared on how they can ensure assistances to their disabled family members during any disaster,” Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud told at a session of the 2nd international conference on disability and disaster risk management.

The minister was speaking at the session titled ‘Innovative and inclusive practices on DRR, Crises Management/Humanitarian Actions and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA)’.

Principal Staff Officer of Armed Forces Division Lt. General Md Mahfuzur Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies Dr Atiq Rahman and eminent water expert Prof Ainun Nishat also spoke on the occasion.

Nearly 3,000 representatives, including 110 world renowned experts from 33 countries, are taking part in the three-day conference that is designed with five plenary sessions, 14 sideline events and two special events under the theme of ‘Disability inclusive disaster risk management – today and tomorrow’.

Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the 2nd International Conference on ‘Disability and Disaster Risk Management (DiDRM)’ at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here.

While conducting the plenary session after the inauguration, Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Autism Saima Wazed Hossain called for preparing a comprehensive database on persons with disabilities to integrate them into all policies to make an inclusive society.

“It’s a significant problem when you do not have data on the persons with disabilities, where they are living, how they are living and as well as what has happened to them afterwards and in addition to how many more people have become disabled due to the experiences of disaster, it compounds the problems,” said Saima, Prime Minister’s daughter who is also WHO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in South East Asia Region.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed urged all private entrepreneurs to make their own DRR plan with inclusion of disabled people for their respective business entities.

The minister came up with the call while speaking as the chief guest at a session titled ‘Private Sector and Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction’.

Speaking at another session titled, ‘Voices and roles of persons with disabilities, their collectives and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) within Disaster Risk Management (DRM)’, Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon underscored the need for participation of disabled people in policymaking process of disaster preparedness.

Besides, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury spoke as the chief guest at a session titled ‘Disability inclusion within disaster risk governance’ and Railway Minister Md Mazibul Hoque attended another session titled ‘Research, Survey and study findings on Disability inclusive DRM & humanitarian actions’.

Bangladesh is the first country that held the first ever international conference on disability and DRM in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 (SFDRR) in 2015 and adopting Dhaka declaration with eight goals.

The main objective of the conference is to share knowledge and experience and identify future actions for inclusive implementation of the Sendai Framework, its regional plans and the Dhaka Declaration 2015.

The conference is also focusing on addressing disability issues in the humanitarian crisis, which was strongly highlighted in the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016.

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