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System ‘fails needs of disabled refugees’

01 March 2013


A YOUNG Angolan refugee with "complex needs", who was raped, and was living with her baby on the edge of a large, scattered settle-ment; and a 12-year-old boy, also with complex needs, cared for by his frail great-grandmother, are among the refugees with disabilities whose lack of support is highlighted in a new report from the Anglican Alliance.

Support for People with Disabilities Affected by Emergencies was produced in conjunction with the Zambian Anglican Church, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, after the relief manager of the Anglican Alliance, Tania Nino, visited Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement, in Zambia.

It found that people who had lost limbs as they fled from conflict zones did not have proper prostheses (above), and that those with complex needs were living in places where they were vulnerable to attack. There was under-registration of the needs of refugees, and "little or no support" for carers.

The Anglican Alliance will now develop guidance for churches working with refugees with special needs, and will devise a model for supported accommodation for refugees which builds on existing good practice in provision for elderly refugees. The programme will be the focus of an Anglican Alliance event hosted by the Bishop of Bath & Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Price, on 18 March.

"People with disabilities need to get higher priority from the international development system," the director of the Anglican Alliance, Sally Keeble, said. "However, refugees with additional needs get particularly neglected. Our mission is to change that."


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