26 Jul

World Bank Group announces new commitments on disability inclusion

On July 24, at the Global Disability Summit, co-hosted by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID) in partnership with the Government of Kenya and the International Disability Alliance, the World Bank Group (WBG), along with other Summit participants, announced its set of ten commitments to accelerate global action for disability-inclusive development in key areas such as education, digital development, data collection, gender, post-disaster reconstruction, transport, private sector investments, and social protection.

In line with the WBG’s strategy to develop human capital around the world, the World Bank Group Commitments on Disability-Inclusive Development aim to help developing countries invest more – and more effectively – in persons with disabilities and in accessible services.

“It is past time that the voices of a billion people around the world living with a disability are heard – this is a truly powerful group, whose potential is far too often left on the sidelines”, said Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank. “Economic growth and poverty reduction depend on equal opportunities for everyone, and today we are committing to do more and do better to make sure that people with disabilities have an equal chance to succeed.”

More than one billion people worldwide –including an estimated 800 million in developing countries– experience some form of disability, according to the World Report on Disability by the World Bank (WB) and World Health Organization. Persons with disabilities face stigma, discrimination, and exclusion from accessing jobs and services, such as education and health care, and they consistently fare less well than their non-disabled peers in development gains.

10 commitments

The commitments build on the WBG’s ongoing efforts to respond to the urgent need for accelerated action at scale to achieve disability-inclusive development in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The ten commitments include:

1) Ensuring that all WB-financed education programs and projects are disability-inclusive by 2025.

2) Ensuring that all WB-financed digital development projects are disability sensitive, including through the use of universal design and accessibility standards.

3) Scaling up disability data collection and use, guided by global standards and best practices, such as using the Washington Group’s Short Set of Questions on Disability.

4) Introducing questions on disability into the Women, Business and the Law survey to better understand the economic empowerment of women with disabilities.

5) Ensuring that all projects financing public facilities in post-disaster reconstruction are disability-inclusive by 2020.

6) Ensuring that all WB-financed urban mobility and rail projects that support public transport services are disability-inclusive by 2025.

7) Enhancing due diligence on private sector projects financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) regarding disability inclusion.

8) Ensuring that 75 percent of WB-financed social protection projects are disability-inclusive by 2025.

9) Increasing the number of staff with disabilities in the WBG.

10) Promoting the Disability Inclusion and Accountability Framework among World Bank staff as a way to support the WB’s new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF).

As part of its engagement in the Summit, the WBG also signed The Global Disability Summit 2018 – Charter for Change along with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID) and other Summit participants. The global Commitments laid out in the Charter reflect and reinforce the World Bank Group Commitments on Disability-Inclusive Development.

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