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Development Aid: Disabled

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make extra funding available to assist people with disabilities in the developing world. (242035)

The Department for International Development (DFID) recognises disability as a key development issue and for this reason we have already been looking for opportunities to increase our support to disability issues.

DFID recently committed £868,000 to the new Disability Rights Fund which is a unique and innovative grant-making mechanism designed to provide funding directly to disabled people's organisations (DPOs) in the global south and eastern Europe/former Soviet Union. DFID is one of five international donors currently contributing to the fund which has just made its first round of grants to 33 DPOs across Africa and Asia.

In recognition of the fact that more data on disability are urgently needed DFID recently committed £2.2 million to a five-year cross-cutting disability research programme to begin in January 2009. This will increase the amount of robust data available which more clearly demonstrate the links between disability and poverty in developing countries. It will work closely with research currently being carried out by the Southern Africa Federation of Disabled People's Research Project (£2.2 million) which has been running since 2007. This five-year project which has been designed and run by disabled people in the region, has already started to produce evidence of the kinds of barriers disabled people face when trying to access basic services like health and education.