A new study has shed light on the plight of Persons With Disabilities PWDs living in the conflict-engulfed Anglophone regions of Cameroon.
The study aimed at evaluating the disability inclusive humanitarian action and sectors for IDPs and host communities in the Anglophone regions was sponsored by the Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and its partners. The results were made public at a workshop for the dissemination of the disability inclusion audit report in the North West and South West regions yesterday in Yaounde.
Among key findings, it noted that at last 14% of PWDs living in the region have challenges getting access to food and humanitarian aid regularly, and 12% are victims of Gender-Based Violence.
The same study showed that at least 17% of them are undergoing psychosocial challenges owing to the ordeal they are made to go through in the course of the ongoing armed conflict.
Julius Wango, an independent consultant selected to carry out the study explained that the challenges of PWDs continue to be compounded by neglect and lack of empathy by multiple actors.
“within this crisis persons with disabilities are excluded from humanitarian response… humanitarian organisations hardly engage with associations of persons with disability,” he explained.
Among proposed solutions, he cited “policies and standards on inclusion, and building capacity of staff, and humanitarian bodies should cooperate with organisations of persons with disabilities”.
In the same vein, CBM President, Fon Julius said the institution has for the past 50 years of existence in Cameroon, been a light for persons with Disabilities.
In the context of the Anglophone crisis, “we were called upon to develop a program for disability inclusive humanitarian response …” he told the press.
The audit, he stated, “was an evidence of the situation and an eye opener for attitudinal change for increased investment by development.”
‘Study is an eye opener for attitudinal change’-Julius Fon, CBM Cameroon Country Director.
This audit report was like an evidence of the situation and an eye opener attitudinal change and for increased investments by development organizations and to make sure that their actions in the (North West and South West) regions are inclusive of persons with disabilities,’
‘We have sensitised local development actors,’-Julius Penn, Program Manager, PCC Rehabilitation services
‘We have sensitised humanitarian and local actors and local development stakeholders and we were also able to build capacities and provide support to persons with disabilities to enable them better understand how humanitarian systems function.