United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Disability Alliance on SDGs Bangladesh Wednesday urged for inclusion of the disability in the 8th Five-Year Plan.
The appeal came at a workshop titled ‘Making Disability Inclusive Social Security Policies and Programmes in Bangladesh’, organised by UNDP and Disability Alliance, held at a city hotel.
Professor Dr Shamsul Alam, member of the Planning Commission of Bangladesh, attended the workshop as the chief guest.
Monsur Ahmed Choudhury, trustee for Impact Foundation, chaired the programme.
The keynote papers, presented by Aminul Arifeen of UNDP and Ayon Debnath of Sightsavers, showed that people with disabilities are the worst affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The coverage for the people with disabilities, under the current social protection framework of Bangladesh, is insufficient, the keynote papers read.
The papers emphasised enhancing disability inclusion in the 8th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) of the government with an extended allocation for people with disabilities in the next Plan.
Dr Alam said, “The Government of Bangladesh is highly sensitive to ensuring the rights of the people with disabilities in Bangladesh. The 'Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013' has been enacted and the Action Plan on Disability has been prepared by the government in 2019.”
He also said that under the National Social Security Strategy, an initiative has been taken to cover up to 1.0 million poor people with disabilities.
Amrita Rejina Rozario, convener of the Disability Alliance on SDGs Bangladesh and country director of Sightsavers, said, “Though the government has widened the coverage of the social safety-net schemes further to include more of the marginalised population, the percentage of total safety-net budget for disables is still very low, only 2.0 per cent, which needs to be increased notably.”