Including people with disabilities in actions to reduce poverty and hunger

According to the United Nations (UN), there are approximately 650 million people with disabilities inthe world, and at least 80 percent of them live indeveloping countries. More often than not, they areamong the poorest of the poor. The UN Conventionon the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006, defines such persons as “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effectiveparticipation in society on an equal basis with others”(Article 1). Recent World Bank estimates suggest that as many as one in five of the world’s poorest people has a disability. While prevalence is difficult to measure effectively, it appears that about 10–12 percent of the population in developing countries lives with disabilities, and 2–4 percent with severe disabilities. Males at all ages have higher levels of disability, and the prevalence increases dramatically across the world in people older than 60. People with disabilities are not a homogeneous group.

McClain-Nhlapo, Charlotte
Published date: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Series number: 
Special Edition
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