November 27, 2008

Australia Supports Disablity & Development

The Australian Government has for the first time made people with disability a priority for Australia's international development program.

Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, Bob
will launch Australia's first strategy to guide
Australia's aid program in supporting people with a disability in the
developing world.

An estimated 10 per cent of the world's population, or around 650 million people, live with a disability. Of these, about 80 per cent live in developing countries.

"Australia is committed to including people with disability in the
fight against global poverty and supporting them to improve the
quality of their lives," Mr McMullan said.

"People with a disability are among the poorest and most vulnerable in
developing countries," he said.

The new strategy, 'Development for All', aims to improve quality of
life for people with disabilities, strengthen prevention efforts and
promote international leadership on disability and development.

It also seeks to improve understanding of disability and development
across the Asia Pacific region.

"With good leadership, attitudes towards people with disability can
change, services can be improved and people's lives can be transformed
– not only the lives of the person with a disability, but their
families and those around them," Mr McMullan said.

People with a disability face many barriers preventing them from
participating in society, and are more likely to be socially excluded.
Women and children with disability often face the greatest challenges.

The Australian Government recognises that poverty and disability are
linked and is committed to ensuring that the benefits of development
reach those who are most excluded.

Australia has recently ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities, and, in addition to launching the strategy
is also preparing a national disability policy to be released in 2009.

Media Contact: Sabina Curatolo (Mr McMullan's Office) 0400 318 205
AusAID Public Affairs 0417 680 590

Posted by rollingrains at November 27, 2008 12:46 AM