11.4 Attending to the special needs of vulnerable groups

Group Actions
Women (in all population groups)

See Chapter on Gender

  • Take account of the new roles that women and girls may have taken on as a result of the crisis, and the particular challenges they face in receiving emergency supplies and meeting the relief supply needs of their families.
  • Take specific measures to combat any discrimination against women.
  • Design all programme activities to ensure women’s full information about entitlements and their full participation in decision-making groups; and to facilitate their equal access to resources, employment, markets and trade.
Children (in all population groups)
  • Take account of children’s special needs. They are entitled to special protection, opportunities and facilities that enable them to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in conditions of freedom and dignity.
  • While providing basic relief supplies to meet children’s physical needs, also support measures that help to assure their social and psychological needs.
Internally displaced persons
  • Recognise and understand the particular situation and needs of IDPs.
  • While providing relief supplies to IDPs to help them re-establish normal, or new, livelihoods and coping mechanisms, also support measures that help to assure them the same rights and freedoms as other persons in their country.
  • Where relevant, work closely with UNHCR to address the needs of refugees and to support activities aimed at building their self-reliance.
The elderly
  • Recognise that isolation is the most significant factor creating vulnerability for older people, as it exacerbates chronic health and mobility problems, and disrupts livelihood strategies, and family and community support structures.
  • Older people can play an important role in emergency responses by drawing on their rich experiences of community coping strategies.
People living with HIV/AIDS

See Chapter on HIV/AIDS

  • People living with HIV/AIDS, their families and their communities deserve special attention during an emergency response, including preserving confidentiality to avoid the possibility of discrimination.
  • Special considerations need to be made in terms of nutrition, water and sanitation.
Ethnic minorities
  • Careful consideration needs to be given to ensure equitable treatment of ethnic minorities.
  • The needs of ethnic minorities may be different from the larger population-for example, different dietary requirements or security issues.
People with disabilities
  • Facilitate an enabling environment with social support networks and make standard facilities as accessible as possible.