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2013-11-12

ASIA/PHILIPPINES - Double the mortality rate of people with disabilities compared to the rest of the population affected by the typhoon

Iloilo City (Agenzia Fides) - An alarming fact is added to the very serious situation that the Philippine population is experiencing due to the violent typhoon Hayan. Unfortunately people with disabilities are those most exposed to the most dramatic risks during emergencies and natural disasters. Children, women and men with disabilities are able to take shelter with difficulty because most of the first aid facilities are not accessible. This means that survivors and people with disabilities are likely to be excluded from the chain of humanitarian and the traditional emergency aid such as food, drinking water and health services. The mortality rate of people with disabilities is at least double compared to the rest of the population. According to information sent to Fides Agency by the Christian Blind Mission (CBM), the operators of the NGO are working to give aid to the disabled population affected by the typhoon. Partners of CBM in the Philippines say that, in these hours they are trying to help the people in the province of Iloilo City in the Western Visayas. In a statement sent to Fides Agency, the National Director of CBM Italy Onlus states that "being disabled in a developing Country means not having a future. Emergencies then carry with them an additional and terrible effect: a growing number of people with disabilities. At the same time it is often difficult for them to access the chain of humanitarian aid. The chaos and terror caused by natural disaster exacerbates even more the dramatic conditions of a disabled person’s life". CBM has the aim to defeat the forms of avoidable blindness and physical and mental disabilities in developing Countries, without distinction of race, sex and religion. (AP) (Agenzia Fides12/11/2013)

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