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Developing Countries: Disabled

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what steps his Department is taking to include children with disabilities in the programme established to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on schooling; (302994)

(2) whether he expects the Millennium Development Goal on schooling to be achieved in circumstances in which specific provision to meet the needs of children with disabilities is not made in the programme of work towards achievement of that goal.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be achieved without addressing the specific needs and rights of people with disabilities. All children, including those with disabilities must have equal access to a good quality basic education. It is estimated that 90 per cent. of children with disabilities in developing countries are out of school.

The UK is spending £8.5 billion over the period 2006-07—2015-16 in support of education in developing countries. Alongside funding from other donors, these resources are used to support governments to ensure all children have access to basic education—including the children with disabilities. DFID is the second largest donor (£202 million) to the global financing partnership for education, the Education for All— Fast Track Initiative (FTI). We use our support to the FTI to leverage greater attention from partner governments to the needs of the most excluded children. DFID also directly supports Disability Partner Organisations (DPOs) in countries where we work to advocate for the rights for adults and children with disabilities. This is in recognition that social stigma and discrimination remain the main barriers for children with disabilities to attend school.

DFID's new education strategy will be launched early next year and will set out how we propose to implement our commitment to basic education for all children including those with disabilities.