WHO Aids Ukrainian Refugees With Disabilities

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When conflict breaks, everyone rushes to move to safe areas ensuring security and health for themselves and their family members. But for many persons with disabilities, this is not possible due to different limiting factors.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict which is now in its second year has left thousands of Ukrainian civilians, including at least hundreds of children, and tens of thousands of troops on both sides killed. 

According to available sources, there were 2.7 million persons with disabilities in Ukraine before the war.

In this case,  Disability Alliance (IDA) an organization representing over 1100 organizations of persons with disabilities around the world, called upon all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law to ensure protection and safety for persons with disabilities in Ukraine.

World Health Organization Thursday launched a project to improve access to services for Ukrainian refugees with disabilities in Georgia by supporting service providers in the country.

The project is being undertaken with the European Disability Forum, 4 United Nations agencies, Georgian organizations of persons with disabilities, and key government ministries. 

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) over 197 000 Ukrainians have entered Georgia since the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

This number is more compared to most European Union (EU) countries because Georgia has simplified entries and immigration policies.

The challenges of fleeing to a foreign country can be overwhelming for anyone, especially persons with disabilities, hence the project, seeks to review coordination systems between central and regional institutions, UN organizations, and other humanitarian actors, and gather reliable data on Ukrainians with disabilities in the country.

In Aljazeera news reports, Russian president Vladimir Putin linked their invasion of Ukraine to the United States-led NATO transatlantic military alliance.

According to Putin, Russia was intent on preventing NATO from expanding further eastwards and gaining a “military foothold” in Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991.

Ukraine and its Western allies have rejected all of Russia’s rationales.

They say the war was unprovoked and aimed at seizing land and subjugating Ukraine. NATO has not moved to admit Ukraine as a member and says it is a purely defensive alliance.

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