An evacuation route is being prepared. People suffering from walking disabilities will be able to use this exit route in the future.
Carlos Kaiser, director of ONG Inclusiva, explains the Peñaflor approach to make disaster risk management inclusive.

The 2014 RISK Award goes to ONG Inclusiva, Chile

People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to disasters because of health, architectural and technological barriers. The 2014 RISK Award honours and funds a project dedicated to improving the inclusion of people with disabilities in disaster risk management (DRM). The winner of the 2014 RISK Award is ONG Inclusiva, an organisation based in Peñaflor, a town south of Santiago in Chile. The aim of the project is to reduce or eliminate barriers in the city.

Decisions and related measures in DRM are to include people with disabilities, thus making Peñaflor safer for all its inhabitants. In 2006, the international community started to work towards inclusive disaster management. With regard to situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies, Article 11 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities declares that “States Parties shall take (…) all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk (…).” 

The Republic of Chile is a signatory country of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Chile is a country with one of the highest seismic activities in the world, has a very long coastline, mountain ranges with numerous volcanoes and extreme and diverse climate zones ranging from the driest desert in the world to the Antarctic pole. Hence, local emergencies and national disasters happen almost all the time in every season. This being the case, emergency management and disaster risk reduction must be inclusive to ensure compliance with the law when facing such frequent disasters.

Carlos Kaiser, director of ONG Inclusiva stated: “We are very proud that we won the 2014 RISK Award. It will encourage the whole project team to carry on, find new partners – also within the government – and make disaster risk management in Peñaflor sustainable”. The RISK Award will increase the visibility for these kinds of important projects.

The prize was awarded at the opening ceremony of the International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC) on 24 August 2014. Around 800 participants from all over the world gathered in Davos to discuss the challenges and ways ahead in disaster risk reduction. Inclusive management is gaining more and more importance within the international DRM community. The Munich Re Foundation, UNISDR and GRF are therefore happy about the international jury's decision to give this project the 2014 RISK Award.

CB, 26 August 2014


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