A humanitarian disaster can take many forms - earthquakes, floods, tsunami or conflict. They often strike without warning and almost always affect people who are already desperately poor. For people affected, it can be a traumatic ordeal. The months following an emergency are often as dangerous as the disaster itself. Injured and disabled people face a long, hard fight to return to a 'normal' life.
Handicap International is supplying aid and rehabilitation care to injured and disabled people inside Syria and supporting the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan who are surviving in extremely difficult conditions.
In April 2015 a massive earthquake struck Nepal near the capital Kathmandu. Already present in Nepal, our teams got to work immediately, providing rehabilitation and bringing wheelchairs, food, and other essentials to the victims. Please donate to help Nepal rebuild.
Since the beginning of 2014, 2.8 million Iraqis have fled fighting in the north and west of the country. More than 1 million traveled to Kurdistan. They join more than 248,000 Syrians seeking refuge there.
Handicap International teams are working to ensure that their situation doesn’t worsen further because they can’t access care, medication, or the mobility aids they need, like wheelchairs or crutches.
Despite an overall reduction in the number of Ebola cases in West Africa, Handicap International remains dedicated to helping end the epidemic. Since December 2014, we have operated a fleet of 30 ambulances to transport people suffering from Ebola symptoms to treatment centers in Sierra Leone. Decontamination teams traveling with the ambulances disinfect the areas where the infected people are staying to protect their family members and friends from getting sick. More than 1,500 people have been able to access treatment as a result of this service. Staff also conduct awareness-raising campaigns that target people with special needs, including people with disabilities, people with HIV and AIDS, and children.
Over 11,000 Palestinians were injured during the conflict in summer 2014 and some specialist rehabilitation facilities in Gaza were damaged or destroyed. Handicap International teams provided rehabilitation and other essential services to the most vulnerable people. 15 mobile teams were deployed into communities across Gaza, reaching those forced to leave their homes and seek shelter during the crisis. These teams include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and nurses.
South Sudan has been undergoing a political crisis since December 2013 which has resulted in fighting and massive population movements. The number of internally displaced people has reached 1.5 million and some 730,000 South Sudanese have fled to other countries.
Handicap International is using rehabilitation clinics and mobile teams in camps around Juba and Mingkaman to reach people with disabilities and ensure they can access aid, rehabilitation and psychosocial support services. We are also educating people about the risks posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war. We also support other humanitarian organisations to improve the inclusion of person with disabilities in their activities.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The unspeakable brutality of armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has left countless civilians with severe disabling injuries. Handicap International works in North Kivu province, providing support to vulnerable people caught in the region’s conflicts and to victims of explosive remnants of war and armed violence.