The results of the first-ever UN global survey of persons living with disabilities on how they cope with disasters, illustrates why they die, or are injured, in disproportionate numbers in disasters, as UNISDR reported. An estimated 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability.
The survey revealed that people living with disabilities across the world say they are rarely consulted about their needs and only 20% could evacuate immediately without difficulty in the event of a sudden disaster event, the remainder could only do so with a degree of difficulty and 6% would not be able to do so at all.
The Head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Margareta Wahlström, said: “The results of this survey are shocking. It clearly reveals that the key reason why a disproportionate number of disabled persons suffer and die in disasters is because their needs are ignored and neglected by the official planning process in the majority of situations. They are often left totally reliant on the kindness of family, friends and neighbours for their survival and safety."