Commissioner Piebalgs: “EU development cooperation has to be inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities”

The International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) met Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs. The meeting aimed to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the development work of the European Union. Why the inclusion of disabled persons is crucial into development strategy?

  • Persons with disabilities make up approximately 10% of any population (WHO) and 20% of the world’s poorest (World Bank).
  • Disability is both a cause and effect of poverty, and 82% of disabled people live below the poverty line in developing countries (UN).

The discussion between the disability organisations and Commissioner Andris Piebalgs focused onhow to effectively address disability issues in the European development cooperation work. EDF Director Carlotta Besozzi highlighted that “the challenge is now to make sure the agenda foresees a coherent policy with a concrete set of actions addressing disability and development. The Commission has to make sure the EU doesn’t forget 650 million persons with disabilities in the world. Policies and practical guidelines need to be put in place.”

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