Policy Brief: A Disability-Inclusive Response to COVID-19

Publication language
Date published
01 May 2020
Plans, policy and strategy
Development & humanitarian aid, Disability, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Engaging with affected populations, Humanitarian Principles, Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment (PSEAH), Response and recovery
Use in Humanitarian Programme Cycle
Needs assessment & analysis, Strategic response planning, Implementation & monitoring
United Nations (UN)

The global crisis of COVID-19 is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing the extent of exclusion and highlighting that work on disability inclusion is imperative. People with disabilities—one billion people— are one of the most excluded groups in our society and are among the hardest hit in this crisis in terms of fatalities.

Even under normal circumstances, persons with disabilities are less likely to access health care, education, employment and to participate in the community. They are more likely to live in poverty, experience higher rates of violence, neglect and abuse, and are among the most marginalized in any crisis-affected community. COVID-19 has further compounded this situation, disproportionately impacting persons with disabilities both directly and indirectly.

This Policy Brief highlights the impact of COVID19 on persons with disabilities and in doing so, outlines key actions and recommendations to make the response and recovery inclusive of persons with disabilities. While the brief contains specific recommendations focusing on key sectors, it identifies four overarching areas of action that are applicable for all.