To mark International Day of Persons with Disability (December 3rd), overseas disability charity CBM UK is launching a campaign to End the Cycle of poverty and disability around the world.
CBM UK will be hosting a live Twitter link-up with events to mark the day in Kenya and a CBM-sponsored eye hospital in Tanzania, launching a film and calling on supporters to add their voice to the campaign.
Ade Adepitan MBE, Paralympic medalist and British TV presenter said, “For many of us in the UK it is hard to imagine what it would be like to be born into a world of hardship and poverty. But imagine living in that world with a disability? One seventh of the world’s population have some form of disability and 80% of these live in the world’s poorest countries, like Nigeria. I’ve been able to turn my dreams of being a paralympian into reality; but for many who are trapped in the cycle of poverty and disability, even being able to earn a living to survive is a challenge. Unfortunately this is the reality for millions of people. We must end this cycle.”
People affected by disability are more likely to experience poverty, and being poor increases the chance of having a disability. A study co-funded by CBM UK and the International Centre for Evidence on Disability at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, highlights that people with disabilities in developing countries are one of the world’s greatest untapped resources. For example:
- Rehabilitating people with incurable blindness in Pakistan could lead to gross household earnings increase of nearly 72million USD per year
- Each additional year of schooling reduces the chance that a person with a disability will live in extreme poverty by 5%, according toa study across 13 low/middle income countries
People with disabilities and their families are less likely to have access to rehabilitation, employment opportunities and education. The cost of exclusion from education leads to lower employment and earning potential among people with disabilities, making individuals and their families more vulnerable to poverty. For instance, failing to include people with disabilities in Bangladesh leads to an economic loss of US$234 million per year.
This study is the largest systematic literature review that validates the link between disability and poverty.
Poverty is known to cause disabilities and can lead to secondary disabilities for those individuals who are already disabled, as a result of the poor living conditions, health endangering employment, malnutrition, poor access to health care and education opportunities.
Victoria Brignell, Journalist said, “Poverty and disability go hand-in-hand throughout the world. Even in a ‘developed’ country like the UK, disabled people are more likely to be poor than the able-bodied. Government figures show that about 20% of British families with at least one disabled member live in relative poverty compared to only 15% of other families. Ending the cycle of poverty and disability is vital if we are to make poverty history.”
Watch CBM’s latest video here and join them today to end the cycle of poverty and disability!