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Photo: Twitter / @UNHCRMozambique
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and partners are delivering support equipment to people with disabilities who fled armed attacks in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, the agency said on Wednesday.
“Persons with disabilities represent one of the most vulnerable groups among displaced communities due to the mobility challenges they face during flight,” UNHCR said in a statement.
UNHCR + Humanity Inclusion provided assistance devices to 122 People with Disabilities (PWD) in Cabo Delgado.
PWD are among the most vulnerable within displaced communities due to the mobility challenges they face while fleeing violence pic.twitter.com/xWFz61VOeF
— UNHCR Mozambique (@UNHCRMozambique) February 14, 2022
According to the high commissioner’s monitoring of needs and protection, an estimated 15% of the displaced population (over 800,000 people) live with some form of disability.
Even after fleeing, challenges continue in the new places where they settle.
“Many depend on the support of relatives, neighbours or strangers”, but without even essential equipment such as walking sticks or crutches, they are unable to rebuild their lives and have the ambition to make dreams come true.
The last delivery of material took place between 2 and 7 February in partnership with the Humanity Inclusion (HI) organisation and benefited 122 people, with the delivery of 35 wheelchairs, 70 walking sticks and 35 white canes – all delivered after identification and assessment of the cases in a joint effort with the Forum of Mozambican Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FAMOD).
Since 2021, UNHCR and partners have allocated auxiliary means to more than 200 people, a work that the high commissioner’s office plans to continue this year.
“People with disabilities are endowed with enormous resilience and talent,” said Margarida Loureiro, head of UNHCR’s office in Cabo Delgado.
“We know excellent artists, carpenters, painters, tailors, among others. Like all people, they have dreams and ambitions. They want to work and be independent. He underlined that the attribution of auxiliary means allows them to reach their potential”, she underlined.
Cabo Delgado province is rich in natural gas but terrorised since 2017 by armed rebels, with some attacks claimed by the extremist group Islamic State.
The conflict has led to more than 3,100 deaths, according to the ACLED conflict registration project, and more than 817,000 displaced people, according to Mozambican authorities.