Inclusive approach to protection and safety of people with disabilities during the war in Ukraine is crucial

UNDP experts discussed how to improve information access and evacuation procedures for people with disabilities in war

March 22, 2023


Kyiv, 22 March 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine presented the results of two assessments that examine some specific challenges faced by people with disabilities due to the ongoing war. The assessments were focused on the accessibility of information and notifications in crises and difficulties during the evacuation of people with disabilities.

A rapid assessment conducted by UNDP in September-October 2022 aimed to identify the key obstacles to equal access of people with disabilities to assistance during crisis response. The results made it possible to develop recommendations that can be used to improve these processes. 

Tetiana Barantsova, Government Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, emphasized that Ukraine's experience in evacuation is significant.

"There is still no prescribed regulation in the world on evacuating and acting, and we must share this experience with other countries. We should develop solutions to improve accessibility systems for evacuating people with disabilities and persistently create conditions for the lives of evacuees by arranging inclusive spaces in temporary shelters."

During the presentation, Olena Ursu, Team Leader, UNDP Democratic Governance Portfolio, pointed out the importance of not only taking into account the needs of people with disabilities as beneficiaries of aid but also their engagement as key actors in humanitarian response planning.

"All relevant stakeholders, including government institutions, international humanitarian organizations and development partners, local authorities and civil society must ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in humanitarian response during crises. We hope the research presented today will equip them with necessary information and guidance to do so,"  Ursu said.

The assessment  emphasized the need for systemic changes in information sharing and notification system, urban planning and transportation, as well as for developing approaches to reflect the needs of persons with disabilities in decision-making. 

Further efforts by governmental organizations to develop practical response tools and strategies can pave the way for an inclusive approach to ensure protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, as envisaged by Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

You can read the assessments on the UNDP website:


This event was organized within the project “Mainstreaming gender-responsive disability inclusion in the humanitarian response in Ukraine”, which is a joint initiative of UNDP, UN Women, the UN Children's Fund, and the UN Population Fund. It is financed by the UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).

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