Helping Older People in Emergencies (HOPE)

What is HOPE?

HOPE – Helping Older People in Emergencies – is a new HelpAge International training inititiave that seeks to build awareness of ageing issues at global and field-level.

The programme helps humanitarian practitioners gain an understanding of older people's particular needs in emergencies. It also provides them with the tools and the know-how to put age-friendly humanitarian programming into practice.

The HOPE training will provide humanitarian workers with the tools to include older people in emergency responses.

(c) Frederic Dupoux/HelpAge International

The HOPE training will provide humanitarian workers with the tools to include older people in emergency responses.

HOPE trainings will create a "community of practice" which is age-aware. It will also create a group of enablers and influencers who will promote the inclusion of older people in humanitarian programmes.

In 2012, HOPE training was successfully rolled out to more than 250 humanitarian practitioners and policy-makers in Kenya, Gaza, DR Congo, Spain, Bangladesh, Thailand and London. Participants included a range of professionals from international humanitarian and development organisations, UN agencies, donor organisations, local NGOs, media and students.

Why was HOPE developed?

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Working Group on inclusion of older people in humanitarian action identified the need for a training programme like HOPE. Their reviews recognised that global and field-level capacity to cater for the specific needs of older peple in emergencies was weak.

The IASC strongly recommended mainstreaming humanitarian assistance to older people by developing training programmes and awareness campaigns. The programme is funded by the European Commission (ECHO).

Who should attend?

Experienced humanitarian practitioners and policy makers who are responsible for supporting, planning or managing humanitarian response.

What are the benefits of attending?

Hundreds of humanitarian workers around the world are set to benefit from the programme. By the end of the training, participants will:

  • have a better understanding of the key risks facing older people in a humanitarian crisis
  • be better equipped with the practical tools and guidelines required for developing an age-friendly response
  • be able to support their organisations to integrate the needs of older people into humanitarian programming
  • have access to best practice tools and resources on older people in humanitarian crises.
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Did you know?

22% of the global population is over 50, but less than 1% of humanitarian aid targets older people.

"HOPE's outreach should be maximised. There is a huge need to sensitise humanitarian field workers and senior management on older people's issues."

HOPE participant.


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European Commission

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