People with Disability to Help Form Aid program
14 January 2014 at 10:28 am
People with disability are set to play an active role in developing Australia’s foreign aid program moving beyond 2015.
The Federal Government strategy, announced last December by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Brett Mason, will reflect its focus on building skills, creating jobs and fostering economic growth in the Indo-Pacific region, and will build on the success of the Development for All 2009-2014 strategy.
“People with disability comprise 15 per cent of the world’s population, or one billion people, making them the largest and most disadvantaged minority,” Senator Mason said.
“They have poorer health outcomes and higher rates of poverty than people without disability due to a lack of access to work and education.”
The Government said that it was committed to an inclusive post-2015 development agenda that takes account of people with disability, to ensure no one is left behind.
The Australian Disability and Development Consortium (ADDC), a peak body promoting disability inclusive development and Christian Blind Mission Australia, an international development organisation specialising in disability, said across the globe, Australia was recognised as leading the way in fighting poverty through including people with disabilities in Australia’s aid program.
“More and more, other countries and development players are recognising the importance of including people with disabilities in all development work, and Australia is being seen as leading the way in this internationally,” Sophie Plumridge, Executive Officer of ADDC, said.
National Director of CBM Australia, John Jeffries, said his organisation applauded the new Government’s strengthened commitment to ensuring Australia’s foreign aid keeps people with disabilities on the development agenda.
“There are over a billion people with disabilities in the world, and over 20 per cent of the world’s poorest people live with disability. Ultimately, this new strategy is about ensuring that our foreign aid is reaching the poorest of the poor and no one is left behind,” Jeffries said.