As countries around the world continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that these responses take into account the needs of people living with disability. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has that people with disabilities face a greater chance of contracting the virus, since they may be unable to practice physical distancing, or may face barriers to accessing healthcare. The WHO organisation cautioned that if governments do not attend to the specific needs of people living with disability in responding to COVID-19, existing barriers may be amplified for people with disability.
CBM has been working in Yogyakarta in Indonesia with partners ensuring that the needs of people living with disability are addressed, while advocating for greater inclusion of the needs of people living with disability in the region. To better engage in this work, CBM has partnered with an Organisation for People with Disability (OPD) in the decision-making process and implementing our work in Yogyakarta. Rahmi is a wheelchair user, working with SIGAB, one of CBM’s partner OPDs, as a monitoring, evaluating, learning and research consultant. Rahmi’s role is to lead the assessment team on market accessibility for people living with disability in Yogyakarta, and her work will assist in the determining how the distribution of inclusive cash assistance should take place. Rahmi notes:
“I am interested in working for COVID-19 response because there are not many people with disabilities involved in the humanitarian response. By being involved in this program, as a person with a disability, I can be actively involved by mainstreaming persons with disabilities not only as program objects but also as program subjects”.
Through the work of dedicated people like Rahmi, CBM and partners can continue to work to support people during the COVID-19 crisis.