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ASB-Hilfsmissionen in Guatemala
Latin America | ASB Foreign Aid

Inclusion of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic | Latin America

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a particularly negative impact on vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities. It consolidates and exacerbates existing inequalities and disadvantages experienced daily by persons with disabilities in Latin America. The ASB project brings people with disabilities and their families in as participants the response and rehabilitation processes of the crisis.

The project

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    Project title: Inclusion of people with disabilities in responding to and combating the COVID-19 pandemic crisis in Latin America

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    Project region: Venezuela, Colombia and Latin America

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    Project financing: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and ASB’s own resources

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    Project volume: € 1,111,112

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    Project duration: 01/11/2021 - 30/06/2024

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    Target group: 5,500 direct beneficiaries, divided into the following groups: 1,760 people with disabilities and their families; 160 national and local officials; 100 key actors in the field of disability (staff of UN organisations or non-governmental organisations); 600 school pupils, teachers and members of school communities; and 2,870 members of the general population (through campaign events and other public events)

The negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic affect vulnerable groups in particular, including people with disabilities. The pandemic is exacerbating existing inequalities and aggravating disadvantages, for example in access to social, educational or employment services, that people with disabilities experience on a daily basis in Latin America and the Caribbean. Organisations of people with disabilities were hardly consulted in the planning and implementation of response measures to the pandemic. However, a differentiated approach is needed to capture the impact on and needs of people with disabilities in the context of the pandemic and to initiate processes of economic and social reactivation and recovery.

How the ASB is helping in Colombia and Venezuela

Strengthening resilience and exercising the rights of people with disabilities


The ASB supports people with disabilities, their families and organisations in strengthening their resilience and exercising their rights. Direct support measures have been designed, such as awareness-raising, pathways to social services and psychosocial support for people with disabilities. The project also supports the return of schoolchildren with disabilities to the classroom. In addition, the ASB is strengthening inclusion on labour market and job creation by supporting entrepreneurship.

Visibility of people with disabilities and improved access to social services


People with disabilities are often “invisible”, though gaps (including access to social, educational or employment services) between people with and without disabilities are very wide. They are also “invisible” because data is usually not available.
The ASB supports the collection of disability-disaggregated data, making it easier for public authorities to fill the gap in access to social services and to develop more tailored offers. On the other hand, people with disabilities often struggle to obtain information because it is not accessible. The ASB project is therefore helping public authorities to improve their websites.

Lobbying for the rights of people with disabilities


In close coordination with RIADIS, the Latin American network of organisations of persons with disabilities, the ASB supports processes of lobbying to make the rights of persons with disabilities visible at national and international level. Individuals and organisations of persons with disabilities are sensitised on this issue through training courses that politically strengthen the rights of persons with disabilities. In addition, lobbying is used to increase the participation of people with disabilities in disaster risk reduction, including decision-making and the development of response measures to the COVID-19 crisis.

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