People with disabilities overlooked in response to quake-hit Afghanistan

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Human Rights Watch stated that people with disabilities had been overlooked in humanitarian relief to the earthquake victims in a report about the recent earthquake in southern Afghanistan.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, there is a paucity of post-earthquake statistics on the needs of disabled persons in Afghanistan, and many of them have been forgotten about when relief was being distributed.

Despite frequently being mentioned as a population at risk, people with disabilities frequently encounter impediments to receiving humanitarian aid such as food, sanitation, and medical help. Given the Taliban government’s egregious breaches of human rights, particularly against women and girls, since the Taliban took power, governments have struggled to provide funds for humanitarian relief to Afghanistan.

In the report, Human Rights Watch makes the observation that meeting humanitarian needs should be maintained separately from the politics of Taliban legitimacy and recognition. If not, the crisis will mostly affect people with disability and other vulnerable groups. According to an Afghan woman who cofounded a group run by people with disabilities but was forced to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban took control in August 2021, “I think people with disabilities have been left behind during the help and rescue programs because nobody tried to distinguish people with disabilities among all people harmed.”

She summed up the humanitarian assistance distribution for the quake-hit disabled people as “a raindrop for a thirsty person.”—Khaama News Agency

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