Handicap International UK welcomes the Disability and Development Inquiry report published today by the International Development Select Committee. We fully agree with the report’s recommendations for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to more systematically include disability throughout its development and humanitarian work. Out of the one billion disabled people globally, at least 80% live in developing countries. It is essential that DFID addresses the needs of this population, who have previously been left behind.

Upon the launch of the report, Aleema Shivji, Director of Handicap International UK, said, “Handicap International fully supports the Committee’s recommendations for DFID to develop a disability strategy, to ensure strong reporting processes for accountability and for increased participation of disabled people through a central role in design and delivery of programmes. Further, we agree with the Committee’s recommendation that DFID should develop a larger disability team, with representative senior management and increased capacity throughout its offices and departments. We are committed to supporting DFID to put these recommendations into practice.”

“Building upon the Prime Minister’s crucial role in leading the debate about development Post-2015 and Lynne Featherstone’s leadership, now is the time for DFID for take an ambitious leading role on disability inclusion across development and humanitarian work and with bilateral and multilateral agencies.”

The report’s recommendations are solidly based upon the evidence provided during the Disability and Development Inquiry, which included over 80 written submissions and oral evidence panel sessions with experts.

Handicap International has been actively involved in the Inquiry and provided both written and oral evidence based on more than 30 years’ experience supporting disabled and vulnerable people worldwide. Handicap International’s UK Director, Aleema Shivji, and our Middle East Coordinator for Disability Rights, Ola Abu Alghaib, were questioned during the Inquiry’s evidence sessions in January.

The humanitarian recommendations of the Select Committee report are supported by the findings of a new report on the Syria crisis, launched yesterday by Handicap International and HelpAge International, which shows that disabled, injured and older refugees are facing significant difficulties in accessing appropriate aid.

In response to our new report, DFID yesterday announced a series of changes to the way its humanitarian assistance is designed to better ensure that no-one is left behind. In the future, DFID will require humanitarian partners to provide data disaggregated by age and disability when submitting projects for funding. It will build internal staff capacity to ensure DFID humanitarian programmes take into account age and disability, and it will consider how to integrate age and disability into national-level capacity building. DFID will also use its influence as a leading global humanitarian donor to ensure that funding pots which it contributes to (including the CHF and Start Fund) are age- and disability-inclusive.

Handicap International will keep up the pressure to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable people are included in both development and humanitarian assistance.

Source Article from Humanity & Inclusion

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