On 15 March 2019 intense Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall near the city of Beira in Sofala province, Mozambique. It brought heavy rain that made rivers overflow their banks, causing enormous damage inland in the days following the cyclone. Idai left a trail of devastation, not only in Mozambique but also in the surrounding countries such as Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
Thousands of persons perished or were injured, and many millions were displaced, most of which took place in Sofala province. It is estimated that over a hundred thousand women and men, girls and boys with disabilities were affected by Idai.
Anecdotal information from the area shows that women and men, girls and boys with disabilities did not receive the assistance and protection required before, during and in the direct aftermath of the cyclone.
These concerns are validated by various studies and reports which state that women and men, girls and boys with disabilities are generally disproportionately affected by natural hazards: they are more likely to be excluded from and ignored by the emergency response. This can be attributed to various compounding barriers including attitudinal, physical, communication and institutional obstacles. Combined with their frequently poor economic situation, these barriers hinder access to humanitarian aid by women and men, girls and boys with disabilities.