Addressing Extreme Poverty: Disability Inclusion
Monday, 29 April 2019
02:00 PM to 05:15 PM
The world has a population of 7 billion, and according to figures, 1 billion (15 per cent) of that population has at least one disability. 80-90 per cent of the people with disabilities living in the low- and middle-income countries are unemployed. While delivering the keynote presentation to a seminar organized by PKSF, Mr Md Rashidul Islam, Project Coordinator, Poverty Graduation Program, Handicap International added that according to World Bank (2011), the cost of excluding people with disabilities from Education and Employment is 1.2 billion US$ annually in Bangladesh.
The academic seminar titled ‘Addressing Extreme Poverty: Disability Inclusion’ took place on 29 April 2019. It was the second in a series of four expert consultation seminars between 29-30 April, where PKSF sought to incorporate the learning of projects like ENRICH, UJJIBITO and PRIME and the recommendations of the seminars that will contribute to develop the M&E framework of PPEPP project. The keynote suggested that women with disabilities in Bangladesh are more likely to be unemployed compared to men with disabilities. Experiences show that households having persons with disabilities who graduate out of poverty and extreme poverty, are less vulnerable to shocks and natural disasters and have better access to services. Disability-inclusive poverty reduction initiatives can enhance capacities, rights, social dignity and economic autonomy of the people experiencing disabilities, he advised. The welcome address was given by Mr A.Q.M. Golam Mawla, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF. He explained that PKSF has been providing package of financial and non-financial services to its 1 crore 30 lakh members and their families. PKSF has undertook initiatives that connect people lagged behind from mainstream economic growth including persons with disabilities and other disregarded groups emphasizing on their sustainable and inclusive development. The seminar was deliberated by Dr AKM Nuruzzaman, General Manager and Team Leader of UPP-Ujjibito, PKSF and Dr Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, General Manager, PKSF who gave two detailed point-wise presentations on the ‘Ujjibito Disability Development Activities’ and ‘PPEPP Implementation Challenges – Disability Inclusion’ respectively. PPEPP is designed to address the specific needs of extremely poor people with disabilities. The project will seek to increase access to targeted social safety nets to ensure basic needs are met and specific services are provided. Where possible, livelihood opportunities will be tailored to their specific capabilities. Community level work will build social support for people with disabilities, and support national and local advocacy for increased access to basic services. The event was moderated by Mr Khandaker Jahurul Alam, Executive Director, Centre for Services and Information on Disability. Expert participants included M.A. Baqui Khalily, former Executive Director, Institute of Inclusive Finance and Development (InM); Ms Meriem El Harouchi, Programme Manager, EU and Mr Shahidul Haque (Ashoka Fellow), Chief Executive, SARPV; Sajeda Akhter, General Secretary, National Council of Disabled Women (NCDW) and Md Jahangir Alam, Thematic Expert, Centre for Disability in Development (CDD).