Media advisory - Under embargo until 26th November 2020
A new report from aid agencies Age International and HelpAge International, 'If not now, when?' criticises the humanitarian sector for its failure to address the needs of older people in emergencies. This failure contravenes several international commitments made in recent years and flies in the face of humanitarian principles.
The report uses information gathered from interviews with almost 9,000 older people affected by natural disasters, conflict or socioeconomic crises in 11 countries, including Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia and Pakistan.
It shows how older people, despite the risks they face during emergencies, are marginalised and in some cases excluded by the humanitarian aid response. The report criticises the humanitarian sector for adopting a ‘one size fits all’ aid approach which fails to take into account the specific needs of older people.
This situation has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has thrown into stark relief the gulf between the risks facing older people and the level of support available to them.
'If not now, when?' provides urgent recommendations for humanitarian actors, donors and agencies for an inclusive humanitarian response for older people.