High-level Meeting to Support Persons with Disabilities during COVID-19 in the Arab Region

COVID-19 has caused new global changes affecting people’s lives everywhere. These effects are especially felt by persons with disabilities as one of the most vulnerable groups impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Various social and environmental barriers, discrimination, and inaccessible infrastructure has exacerbated these effects.

Against this backdrop, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the League of Arab States (Social Affairs Sector-Department of Development and Social Policy) in coordination with Ms. María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, are organizing a meeting of senior officials in the Arab region working on mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities in Arab countries. The meeting will also be held in cooperation with the Arab Organization for Persons with Disabilities (AOPD).

This meeting aims to coordinate with various partners and governments on addressing the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on persons with disabilities. It will also identify national initiatives, and provide a learning platform to share different experiences and practices that countries have adopted to address the pandemic and its health, social and economic impacts on persons with disabilities, and explore ways to develop a road map for the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities and prevent their isolation from society.