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20060808 Briefing to the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs on Disability in Australian AID Program - ACFID Disability and Development Working Group


Aug 8th 2006 Briefing to the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs on Disability in Australian AID Program

ACFID Disability and Development Working Group

Summary

ACFID (Australian Council for International Development) and its Disability Working Group commend the Minister and DFAT on the recent White Paper on the Australian Government’s Aid Program. The consultation process and resulting paper now present a unique vision and opportunity for the development program over the next ten years.

Added to this, the new policy for Australian Development in Assistance in Health builds on the enormous contribution Australia has made to health in the aid health. But this focus has been largely medical and preventive and doesn’t address the area of disability. Disabled people make up approximately 10% of any population (WHO) and 20% of the worlds poorest (World Bank). Disability is both a cause and a consequence of poverty and 82% of disabled people live beyond the poverty line in developing countries (UN).

Australia now has a unique opportunity and responsibility to take a lead on disability with our partners in the region, capitalizing on its strong domestic expertise on disability and achieving long-term economic and social gains for some of the most impoverished people in the countries we work with. This reflects the strong commitment the Australian Government has already made towards disability, a commitment not currently reflected in our aid program or white paper.