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UK Minister for International Development highlights omission of disabled people in international development

30 May 2013

We welcome the statement from the Minister for International Development Lynne Featherstone where she highlights the very significant omission – that there are one billion people in the world who are being overlooked. You can read excerpts from her article in The Sunday Times on the Liberal Democrat Voice website.

Disabled people are some of the poorest people in the world and they should have the opportunity to benefit from international aid alongside others. Indeed frequently, they require additional assistance but as the World Health Organisation has stated people with disabilities have poorer health outcomes, lower educational achievements, less economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. In practice this means that they are more than twice as likely to find healthcare providers' skills and facilities inadequate; they are nearly three times more likely to be denied health care; and four times more likely to be treated badly.

People with disabilities have for a long time been ignored in international development and the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which end in 2015 do not have any meaningful mention of disabled people.

This week in New York, the international community has the opportunity to tackle this exclusion and if governments and aid organisations are serious about tackling this inequality then the panel co-chaired by David Cameron which is recommending new global goals for the next 20 to 30 years must require explicit checks on how disabled people will benefit from aid.

First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 11 October 2017