A safer world for people with disabilities 

Stories | September 14, 2023 | Author: Stevie Wills, Community Education Officer, CBM Australia

As the world is facing multiple crises, people who are marginalised are being driven into deeper poverty. People with disabilities are increasingly being left behind.

Conflicts like the war in Ukraine have interrupted supply chains, which has increased the cost of living. The rising cost of living has widened the gap between those with and without wealth. The COVID-19 pandemic forced 75 to 90 million people into poverty. It is estimated that over the next decade, climate change could push another 130 million people into poverty. As all of these distinct and devastating crises coincide, their impacts are exacerbated.

In August, I joined 43 passionate Christian women, including CBM Australia’s CEO Jane Edge, to campaign for #ASaferWorldForAll. Micah Australia’s Women Leaders’ Delegation called upon our government for more action to address the impact of these intersecting crises.

I find a sense of being at home amongst those women, who are passionately working for social justice. 

In lobby meetings, I shared with MPs the story of Maya. Living in rural Nepal, Maya is a woman in her 20s with a severe mental health condition. Due to the increasing cost of living her family can no longer afford the appropriate consultations to assist her to manage her mental health. They buy medication from the local market, but it’s probably not the most effective treatment for her. They have a small crop to sell, but rising costs have meant they can afford fewer bus fares to get to their local market. Climate change has seen an increase in landslides, which damage roads and further isolates them. If they can’t make ends meet, they will have to borrow money at a higher interest rate, which will result in deepening poverty and inequality. Maya’s story is just one of many who are impacted by these crises. 

In light of this, CBM is pleased that disability, alongside gender and climate change, is being prioritised in the recently released International Development Policy. But to be truly effective, measurable targets need to be in place for disability equity. CBM hopes to see this in the upcoming Disability Equity and Rights Strategy for the Australian aid program. 

Our government must do its fair share to ensure those who are most marginalised can live in safety and well-being.

Micah Australia is a coalition of Christian individuals, churches and organisations who lobby the government on behalf of those who are experiencing deep poverty. Join our voices for a #saferworldforall

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