Disability inclusion on the agenda at 2019 ACFID

Jane Edge, CBM Australia CEO, sits with a child with disabilities in Indonesia

NGO-members have passed an important resolution on disability inclusion at the 2019 Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The resolution, proposed by CBM Australia and Motivation Australia, encourages the Australian Government to continue its work as a global leader in advancing disability inclusion in international development policy and practice.

The resolution seeks a commitment from the Australian Government for the creation of a third ‘Development for All’ strategy that will build on the success to date in the implementation of disability-inclusive development through the Australian development and humanitarian programs.

Jane Edge, CBM Australia CEO, said:

“Upholding the rights and ensuring the full inclusion of the world’s one billion people with disabilities is a moral imperative. When we talk about leaving no one behind, this has to include people with disabilities.

“People with disabilities in developing countries often face higher levels of discrimination, exclusion and violence than the rest of the population, alongside lower levels of food security, inclusion in livelihood activities and access to health care and education.

“Together, we can remove barriers and make a real difference for and with people with disabilities. Inclusive Australian aid and development helps to ensure we keep our commitment to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.”

Kylie Mines, Founder and CEO of Motivation Australia said:

“The Australian Government has been a global leader in including people with disabilities in their aid program, however there is much work to be done and we cannot drop the ball now. They need to continue this work and commit to a third Development for All strategy.

“For over a decade the Australian Government has been driving momentum and change to include people with disabilities in all aid and development initiatives. While we commend this work, there is still much to be done and we cannot afford to stop now.

“Having a focus on people with disabilities has made very real and tangible differences in people’s lives from supporting women with disabilities to achieve financial independence, to facilitating access to much-needed assistive devices, and strengthening educational opportunities for students with disabilities. However, our job is not done and we need to continue to prioritise this work to ensure no one is left behind.”

The resolution gained unanimous support from the ACFID membership, and highlights to the Australian Government the overwhelming support from the sector in seeking a third ‘Development for All’ strategy.