Thank you for contacting me about Sightsavers' 'Put Us in the Picture' campaign on disability-inclusive development.
An estimated one billion people across the globe have a disability, 80 per cent of whom live in developing countries. Many people living with disabilities do not have a voice, choice or control over their lives. Often they face poverty, stigma, discrimination or even violence.
The Global Goals promise to "Leave No One Behind". People with disabilities must be at the heart of DFID's work if this ambition is to be achieved. At the recent Global Disability Summit, governments and other organisations made 170 ambitious commitments to tackle stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities. These included pledges to pass transformative new laws to protect the rights of people with disabilities, as well as assurances to help those affected by humanitarian crises. A total of 301 organisations and governments have also signed the Charter for Change - an action plan to implement the UN International Convention on Disability. This has to be about action - not just words. It is essential that these commitments are followed through on.
People with disabilities need to be included in international aid and humanitarian assistance, and they should have access to a quality education, healthcare and productive employment. I am encouraged that DFID is committed to establishing itself as the global leader in this under-prioritised area.
I am looking forward to the publication of DFID's new Disability Strategy on 3 December to mark the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.