Achieving SDGs requires disability-inclusive budgeting

Disability, in recent times has been increasingly addressed as a mainstream rather than standalone focus of development initiatives. Thus to realize the motto of “leave no one behind” of SGD, we need a disability inclusive national budget for undertaking disability-inclusive development initiatives.

People with disability often face discrimination and are denied of their fundamental rights despite government commitment in the form of SDGs and separate budget allocation, political willingness and existence of a legal framework. Even after the enactment of  the ‘Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013’, there is limited enforcement of policies due to lack of institutional knowledge on disability and disabled people’s rights. Around 7 per cent Bangladeshis have some form of disability. To realize the full potential of the population for economic and social advancement, we need to have more disability inclusive initiatives .

The 17th Policy Breakfast on Disability- Inclusive Development was held on 31st March along with Canadian High Commission while celebrating 5th year anniversary of IID.

The discussion in the event focused on the existing practices and achievements in attaining disability rights in Bangladesh and the challenges and suggestions in mainstreaming disability in development practices.  As part of it, discussion was held on ways to improve access to education and assessments tools, public services, employment facilities and physical infrastructure for the disabled.  Major policy suggestion from the event was to implement a disability inclusive national budget. Other related suggestions were specific mention and guideline of disability inclusiveness in national strategy documents like the national 5 year plan capacity building of government officers across the hierarchy on disability, incorporating “disability features” in every public space and developing a national quality and standard mechanism for disability aiding tools.

Among others, Nojibur Rahman, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Habibe Millat MP, member of parliamentary standing committee on social welfare; ‎Barry Bristman, First Secretary (Political) at Canadian High Commission in Bangladesh; Shafiq-ul Islam, Executive Director of CRP; Abdus Sattar Dulal, Executive Director of Bangladesh Protibandhi Kallyan Somity (BPKS) were present at the event.

The session ended with Mr. Nojibur Rahman, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister committing to advocate for disability inclusive budgeting in the upcoming national budget.

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