Over 7 million refugees have fled Ukraine into neighboring countries including Moldova and Georgia since February 24, 2022. According to UNHCR, almost 600,000 persons (mostly women and children) have arrived in Moldova, out of which 24% remained in the country, of whom, 65% are women and 36% are children. According to the UNHCR, 26, 379 individual refugees from Ukraine were recorded in Georgia by June 26, 2022. However, the Georgian internal ministry claims, Georgia has received more than 60,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Persons with disabilities are often among the most vulnerable and disproportionately affected groups during forced displacement, such as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Within the population of IDPs with disabilities, subgroups like older refugees and women and girls with disabilities are particularly vulnerable.
The programme seeks to urgently inform the humanitarian response designed for Ukrainian refugees in Moldova and Georgia to be fully inclusive and thereby uphold the States’ commitment to CRPD Article 11 on the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk and emergency.
The programme will achieve this objective by equipping humanitarian actors, local authorities and CSOs with the technical know-how on disability inclusion and mainstreaming, inclusivity tools and checklists and promoting disability disaggregated data through rapid assessments of the current needs of Ukrainian refugee women men, girls, boys and older people with disabilities. The programme also seeks to further empower Ukrainian refugees with disabilities to use their agency and organizations of people with disabilities in Moldova and Georgia to provide disability inclusion and accessible information to humanitarian stakeholders and meaningfully engage in decision making fora.
The programme is also envisaged to contribute towards strengthening the European region’s disability inclusion approach during future humanitarian situation and influencing the wider regional response to Ukrainian refugee crisis.