From childhood to old age, millions of people with disabilities living in lower- and middle-income countries lack the basic support they need to live and participate in their own communities. From education and employment to housing, recreation, civic engagement and social protection, their ability to freely, actively, and safely take part in community life can be severely impeded. Family members – usually women and girls – are often the sole source of support. In some countries, an over-reliance on residential institutions leads to a life of exclusion and isolation.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread disruption of these support and care systems, both formal and informal, dramatically affecting people with disabilities. A disproportionate death toll for residents of institutions highlighted devastating inequalities, while those providing support at home to people with disabilities were impacted severely, with increased unpaid care work taking place in households – particularly for women.
The Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22) wants to bring attention to key actions needed to ensure that the recovery for the COVID 19 crisis will contribute to developing adequate support and care systems which can benefit national economies, as well as the socioeconomic and mental wellbeing of a country’s population.
On 27th January 2022 (15.00-16.00 CET), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, UNICEF, OHCHR, IDA, and IDDC are hosting a Thematic Workshop on Community Inclusion, ahead of the Global Disability Summit on 16-17th February 2022 (GDS22). The workshop will focus on on-going efforts of a diversity of countries to promote community inclusion, build effective support and care systems and provide concrete examples on the type of actions that government and civil society can take to promote community inclusion.
The pandemic highlighted the vital importance of community participation and inclusion, showing us – more than ever – that we are all connected. But a lot more needs to be done to ensure people with disabilities don’t get left behind their community peers.
During the GDS2022, help us call on world leaders to do more to help support the community inclusion of people with disabilities throughout their lives. As we recount the losses within the disability community during COVID-19, and embark on our journey to build back better by improving the social and economic infrastructure of our societies, GDS2022 is a key conversation that will affect real change. Take a look at the Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22) full event guide and register using this form.
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