The World Bank will promote the interests of disabled people in its projects globally, a senior official from the multilateral lender said on Tuesday.
Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, World Bank’s global advisor on disability, said the new policy will ensure that people living with physical and mental impairments benefit from projects that address poverty and social exclusion.
“We require a multi-stakeholders engagement to empower persons with disabilities to participate and benefit from the development projects,” said McClain-Nhlapo while addressing delegates attending a workshop on disability inclusive education in Africa.
She noted that by developing policies that promote equality and non-discrimination, governments have an opportunity to enable persons with disability benefit from education, health and social protection.
McClain-Nhlapo said the World Bank’s latest move is aimed at embracing action to remove barriers that exclude people with disabilities from the development process so as to ensure that their voices can be heard.
She revealed that according to the Bank’s report on disability that was released in 2011, about 6.4 percent of children under the age of 14 live with disabilities in Africa and their school attendance rate is lower than that of their peers without disabilities.
McClain-Nhlapo noted that it is unfortunate that the disabled children are at a higher risk of dropping out of school and have less opportunity to participate and achieve quality education.
“We must collaborate, coordinate, share technical expertise and resources to move along the path of creating equitable and quality inclusive education for all, including children with disabilities,” said the World Bank official.
Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Education, announced that Kenya is already to expand the Kenya Institute of Special Education, a leading special education institute in the East African region, with modern facilities to cater for disabled persons.
She said that the government has embarked on strengthening resource centers in all counties to serve as national referral hubs for the disabled children.