LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM (26 July 2018) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) reaffirmed its commitment to support the rights of people with disabilities in Asia and the Pacific by signing the Charter for Change and announcing nine specific commitments to support disability-inclusive development in the region at the Global Disability Summit (GDS) in London on 24 July.
“ADB’s new long-term corporate strategy, Strategy 2030, advances social inclusion and human development, particularly of poor and vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities,” said ADB Social Development Thematic Group Chief Ms. Wendy Walker. “ADB supports global and national efforts to accelerate implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Incheon Strategy to ‘Make the Right Real’ for Persons with Disabilities in Asia and the Pacific, as well as achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The commitments ADB announced at the GDS include developing a corporate strategic framework on disability, ensuring the inclusiveness of education programs, improving access by persons with disabilities to training and employment, and enhancing data and analysis on social protection programs. This is in parallel to the 10 commitments outlined in the Charter for Change, the official outcome document of the GDS, which promotes the rights, freedoms, dignity, and inclusion for all persons with disabilities through better representation; improved access to education, economic opportunities, and finance; and the use of technology for better social services, among other measures.
ADB has been making efforts to improve social and economic inclusion and human development in Asia and the Pacific. In November 2017, ADB approved a $25 million loan and a $2 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to help finance a project to address economic, social, and rights issues of people with disabilities in Mongolia. The project aims to improve the early identification of children with disabilities; enhance service delivery, work, and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities; and promote policymaking in favor of persons with disabilities.
Under Strategy 2030, ADB is increasing its efforts to respond to aging in the region, particularly in developing long-term care systems and services. These are areas where the issues of disability, adaptive devices and digital technology, and universal access are prominent. With the region’s elderly population expected to reach the 1 billion-mark by 2050, ADB expects the current discussion on disability in the region to broaden and gain ground.
The summit, hosted by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, the Government of Kenya, and the International Disability Alliance, brought together over 700 delegates from governments, donors, private sector, civil society, and organizations of persons with disabilities.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.