Transformative Grant Will Help Protect and Empower Older People in Crises
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2023 – HelpAge USA has been awarded a grant from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) Ukraine Crisis Recovery Fund and COVID-19 Response Fund to advance human rights protection and the participation of older people in conflict and humanitarian crises.
The grant will enable HelpAge USA and its partner HelpAge International to work within the global humanitarian system to shape policies and tools so that all those involved in responding to humanitarian emergencies will empower and assist older people on an equal basis with others. The partners will also collaborate with local organizations of older people in Ukraine, Moldova, and Ethiopia to access decisionmakers and participate in developing humanitarian policies and programs that meet older peoples’ needs.
“Older people face discrimination and exclusion in societies around the world, and when crises hit, they are at real risk of being left out of the aid response,” said HelpAge USA President and CEO Cindy Cox-Roman. “With CDP’s support, HelpAge will help make sure older people are not forgotten, get the emergency assistance they need, and be active participants in crisis response decisions and programs.”
In Ukraine, over 22 percent of those in need of humanitarian support are older people. Older people often remain in remote villages, living alone without support networks, and without mobile phones or other means of communication. They may have particular health needs as well as disabilities that impact their ability to flee danger.
Thousands of older people have fled Ukraine to Moldova, often with few personal items or resources. They have needed basic essentials, as well as support in living in and navigating new communities, healthcare, and social services.
In Ethiopia, a limited understanding of the needs of older people within immunization systems traditionally focused on maternal and child health has resulted in multiple supply and demand barriers in benefitting from the COVID-19 vaccine.
To address the serious gaps in inclusion and protection of older people, HelpAge USA and HelpAge International will:
- Recruit and train specialists on inclusion of older people to work in specialized Age and Disability Technical Working Groups in the three countries, as well as in the global humanitarian coordination body, the Global Protection Cluster.
- Partner with a university to conduct research, measure project outcomes, and generate evidence on what policies and systems are most crucial to ensuring older people’s inclusion in humanitarian responses.
- Collaborate with four local organizations: three in Ukraine and one in Ethiopia to develop organizational capacity and advocacy strategies to enable older people to share their country-specific knowledge and experience so the humanitarian response meets their needs.
“One of the biggest gaps in the humanitarian system is the absence of older people’s knowledge, experience, and voice,” said Cox-Roman. “For humanitarian responses to fully protect the rights of older people and meet their specific needs, their views and ideas need to be front and center: actively solicited and incorporated in planning and aid delivery.”
About HelpAge USA
HelpAge USA advances the rights, wellbeing and inclusion of older people around the world. As part of the HelpAge Global network, HelpAge USA works to ensure that the contributions of all older people are recognized, and they have the right to a healthy, safe, and secure life. Visit us at helpageusa.org.
About the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s mission is to leverage the power of philanthropy to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. CDP manages domestic and international Disaster Funds on behalf of corporations, foundations and individuals through targeted, holistic and localized grantmaking. For more information, visit: http://disasterphilanthropy.org, call (202) 464-2018 or tweet us @funds4disaster.