Disability must be seen as development issue: report


The first global report on disability reveals how the exclusion of 1 billion people invisible in official statistics and absent from aid budgets is holding back development progress.
The UN millennium development goals (MDGs) may not be met by 2015 unless urgent action is taken to address the needs of people with disabilities, according to the first world report on disability.
More than 1 billion people live with a disability, says the world report on disability, published by the World Health Organisation WHO) and the World Bank on Thursday. It covers all forms of disability, from blindness to mental health issues, The Guardian News Agency reported. It updates global disability estimates for the first time in 40 years and finds that 20 percent of the world’s poorest people have disabilities and nearly 80 percent of people with disabilities live in low-income countries.
“Addressing the health, education, employment and other development needs of people living with disabilities is fundamental to achieving the millennium development goals,” said the World Bank president, Robert Zoellick.
Children with disabilities are less likely to attend and complete school, says the report, putting at risk international targets for universal primary education.