Thank you for your email in support of Sightsavers’ ‘Put Us in the Picture’ campaign on disability-inclusive development.
The Global Goals promise to leave no-one behind and people with disabilities must be at the heart of DFID's work to build a more prosperous and secure future, if this ambition is to be achieved. The Bilateral Development Review in December 2016 made clear that the UK will continue to prioritise work that targets the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, including people with disabilities.
An estimated one billion people across the globe have a disability, 80% of whom live in developing countries. Many people living with disabilities don’t have a voice, choice or control over their lives. Often they face poverty, stigma, discrimination or even violence. DFID is committed to working to change this and to establishing itself as the global leader in this under-prioritised area.
People with disabilities need to be included in and benefit from international aid and humanitarian assistance. They should have access to a quality education and productive employment so it’s right that this a priority for UK Aid programmes. Improving health systems and combating diseases is also important to prevent avoidable disability. In July 2018, the UK will host a Global Disability Summit to bring together technology companies, governments and charities to tackle the barriers that prevent people living with disabilities from reaching their full potential.
Decision-makers often overlook people with disabilities because of a lack of quality data on disability. For this reason, the UK is maintaining its commitment to be a global authority on disability data so that every person counts and to advocate for the better practice to ensure accurate and robust international comparable data on disability is collected.
I hope that I’ve been able to reassure you that the Government is taking this issue seriously.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.