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A commitment to leave no one behind

28 October 2013
Posted by Lucy Drescher

Earlier this month I wrote about what might happen beyond the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). It is essential for the estimated one billion disabled people in the world that they are not forgotten in what follows on from the MDGs and today the UK Government showed that they share this ambition.

In a speech in the Ugandan capital, Entebbe, Lynne Featherstone MP, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for International Development, reaffirmed her commitment to getting disability on the global development agenda. This is welcome news for the deafblind people that Sense International supports in the developing world and indeed for all disabled people.

In Uganda alone over five million people have a disability, which is 16 per cent of the population. As in the rest of the developing world, poverty and disability in Uganda are impossible to separate. A lack of immunisations, ante-natal care and infectious diseases can all result in a child being born with a disability.

In turn, becoming disabled as a result of an accident or having to give up work as a result of having a disabled child can all have significant economic impacts. According to recent surveys, 72 per cent of people with disabilities in the Northern region of Uganda are living in a state of chronic poverty. Now is the time for the rest of the world to take notice and put an end to this inequality.

Over the next 18 months the world's leaders will consider and negotiate the final post-2015 framework and today Lynne Featherstone assured an audience of politicians and policy makers that the UK will be doing everything possible to push the UN to take up the core commitment to leave no one behind.

Related links

Lynne Featherstone's speech on GOV.UK

Uganda: Next Paralympic Champions? - Lynne Featherstone in the Huffington Post blog

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

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First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Thursday 18 September 2014