Tuesday, 10 Aug 2021
Eighteen months into the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, work practices, businesses and livelihoods are still deeply impacted for millions of people around the world.
Lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing guidelines have seen economic activity plummet with little end in sight for many.
CBM has joined more than 20 civil society organisations in contributing data, experiences and observations to a new report, An unequal pandemic: Insights and Evidence from Communities and Civil Society Organisations, which finds that COVID-19 has exposed the income insecurity of people who were already marginalized prior to the pandemic.
The report explores how marginalized groups, including people with disabilities, have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. It finds that people with disabilities, as well as groups like migrant workers, women and ethnic minorities, are among those whose livelihoods have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
People with disabilities, who already experience significant barriers to finding and retaining employment, are more likely to lose their source of income than people without disabilities.
The report finds that marginalized groups have been forced to adopt short-term financial coping strategies, such as borrowing money from family and friends, to merely afford to put food on the table and a roof over their heads.
Some people with disabilities have also been excluded from financial support packages. An example of this is women with disabilities in India who were ineligible for benefits because they did not hold Government-recognised disability certificates.
The necessary shift towards remote working practices, to protect the broader community, has also had a detrimental impact on marginalized people who may lack computers, reliable internet access or electricity. Additionally, many online platforms are difficult to navigate or totally inaccessible for people with physical or vision impairments.
With COVID-19 still having a devastating impact across the globe, CBM continues to work with local partners on the ground to support communities to better face the risk of the pandemic.
This work includes supporting people with disabilities to maintain health and hygiene by providing safe, clean water for washing and drinking and cleaning products like soap, equipping partner hospitals and clinics with PPE including masks and gloves and ensuring emergency aid packages are available to those facing food crisis and starvation.