Disability poverty and livelihoods
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Disability, poverty and livelihoods. General figures…. 10% - 12% of the world’s population has some form of disabling impairment (over 600 million people). 80% live in low-income countries. 82% of people with disabilities live below the poverty line. 80% of people with disabilities

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Disability poverty and livelihoods

Disability, povertyand livelihoods

General figures
General figures…

  • 10% - 12% of the world’s population has some form of disabling impairment (over 600 million people)

  • 80% live in low-income countries

  • 82% of people with disabilities

    live below the poverty line

  • 80% of people with disabilities

    of working age are unemployed

… & Facts

  • Women with disabilities are generally worse off than men with disabilities

  • The majority of people with disabilities in

    developing countries live in rural areas

  • There is a higher rate of unemployment

    among people with disabilities than among

    the rest of the population

Millennium development goals
Millennium Development Goals

MDG 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Disability and poverty are mutually reinforcing and disabled people and their families represent a very substantial proportion of the poor, especially the extremely poor.

MDG 2 Achieve universal primary education

This is the only absolute goal and with 98% of disabled children in developing countries not in school it will be impossible to achieve unless they are explicitly brought into the equation.

MDG 3 Promote gender equality and empower womenDisabled women and girls face a complex and layered experience of discrimination and disadvantage. The target of eliminating gender inequality in all levels of education by 2015 will not be reached without taking disability into account.

MDG 4 Reduce child mortality In the developing world, the mortality rate among disabled children under five can be as high as 80%.

Sources : DFID

Millennium development goals1
Millennium Development Goals

MDG 5 Improve maternal health Disabling impairments associated with pregnancy and childbirth affect up to 20 million women a year.

MDG 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Disabled people are particularly vulnerable to these diseases, which are also a major cause of disabling impairments.

MDG 7 Ensure environmental sustainability

Unsafe water can be the origin of Trachoma which can cause blindness

MDG 8 Develop a global partnership for development

National and international organisations in the world community, including Disabled Person’s Organisations (DPOs), have an important role to play in the raising awareness to disability issues, and empowering people with disabilities

Sources : DFID & ACFID

Millennium development goals2
Millennium Development Goals

“If 20 % of the world’s poorest are persons with disabilities, then the Millennium Development Goals will only be achieved if explicit and specific efforts are undertaken to include them in programmes aimed at reaching the world’s poorest.”

Specific services

Whenever necessary

Twin-track approach !

Access to mainstream services

Whenever possible

For an « equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms »

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - 2006

The situation in afghanistan
The situation in Afghanistan

Disability: a dormant factor…

The impact of being a person with disabilities is felt when the situation starts improving

… which does not affect people facing severe and chronic poverty.

Sources : National disability survey in Afghanistan - 2005

Livelihood opportunities
Livelihood opportunities

  • Employment

  • Social security resources / safety net

  • Self-employment

  • Lack of opportunities in the job market

  • Exist in only some developed countries

  • Usually the only option available : 80% of people with disabilities who have an economic activity are self-employed

Not an option for all

PwDs are an heterogeneous group !

Being self employed
Being self-employed!


Market opportunities


Access to capital


Good products & services


Conducive legal environment

Access to capital is now considered one of the main elements of economic inclusion.

Access to capital

  • Very costly schemes and not very common

  • Tend to make away individual responsibility and make

    people dependent

  • Should be limited to specific conditions


Own capital

  • Need saving capacity


  • Access to credit still very limited from formal and informal lenders, despite the demand

For most MFIs, PwDs represent between 0 and 2% of their clientèle

The demand for capital from Pwds

remains largely unfulfilled !


✓ People with disabilities suffer from high poverty levels and high rates of unemployment; yet employment is essential for earning a living, helping to support the family and improve self-esteem.

✓ Self-employment is often the only option open to many people with disabilities. In most cases, it is difficult for disabled people to find a formal job in developing countries. However, self-employment is not an option for everyone, since disabled people are a heterogeneous group.

✓ One of the main obstacles to self-employment is access to capital for start-ups or business enhancement.