Rapid Review of Disability and Older Age Inclusion in Humanitarian WASH Interventions

June 2019

Making WASH more accessible for all… not only benefits people with disabilities and older people, it benefits the entire community by enabling good health and minimising the spread of disease. Furthermore, provision of safe, inclusive and accessible WASH promotes dignity and wellbeing.

People with disabilities and older people make up significant population groups, yet they are disproportionately affected by humanitarian crises and among the most marginalised in the response. In contexts of disaster, conflict or unrest, access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) can be severely impacted, increasing people’s vulnerability to disease and death.

Access to clean water and sanitation is recognised as a fundamental human right, and numerous human rights frameworks further affirm equal rights for people with disabilities and older people (those over 60 years). Evidence suggests that these groups are at greater risk of not having adequate access to water and sanitation in an emergency.

To promote inclusive humanitarian action, the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP) consortium developed the Humanitarian Inclusion Standards – a set of nine inclusion standards, with some aimed at specific sectors. The WASH inclusion standards are structured around three key dimensions of inclusion: (1) collection of information; (2) addressing barriers; and (3) participation and resilience.

Additional details

ThemesChallenging contexts, Disability, Fragile contexts, Leave no one behind, Older people

Richard, D. and Kiani, S. (2019) Rapid Review of Disability and Older Age Inclusion in Humanitarian WASH Interventions, London: ELRHA


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