Men and women, boys and girls with disabilities are disproportionately affected in humanitarian emergencies. For instance, first quality data from the Syrian response demonstrates that 28% of the Syrian population have one or more disabilities, while the global average being 15%.

However, persons with disabilities are among those affected population groups that are least likely to access basic and specific services. For too long, the lack of quality data, led to humanitarian needs overviews that overlooked persons with disabilities. Eventually, resulting in a lack of inclusive humanitarian response plans and strategies.

To address this situation, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) “Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action” were launched in 2019. They are the result of an inclusive and participatory consultative process with more than 600 stakeholders from the humanitarian and disability sector. And, they are also the first interagency tool to help improve and steer strategic efforts to better include and engage persons with disabilities in the humanitarian response.

The event is supported through the Phase 2 – Leave no one behind! project, financed by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Guiding Questions:

Almost two years after the launch of the IASC Guidelines we will discuss about how these have been used in humanitarian practice and which challenges remain:

  • What are observations and experiences noted by the affected population with disabilities of diverse gender, age and socioeconomic backgrounds in accessing humanitarian assistance in Syria?
  • Have the IASC Guidelines helped to guide donors and humanitarian actors at country and headquarter level to strengthen the inclusion, protection and safety of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action?

What are the challenges to apply the IASC Guidelines and better include a diverse group of the affected population at high risk of being vulnerable?


To share thoughts and discuss first answers to these questions, we will be joined by representatives from:

  • the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt)for the opening remarks
  • humanitarian organisation working in Syriaon their experience on inclusion
  • an international organisation on data collection and coordination
  • the affected population with disabilities in Syria on observations in engaging in and accessing humanitarian action

Date / Time: 29 September 2021 from 12:30 to 2:00 pm CEST

Format: Online via Zoom

How to register: A registration link will be sent in due course

Language: English

Accessibility: International Sign Interpretation and Live Captioning (ENG) will be provided. If you require any other reasonable accommodation, please inform us in advance

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