TORONTO, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - The numbers are staggering - over 20 % of people
living in poverty in developing countries have a disability.
"It's not the impairment or disability which creates dependency and
poverty in people with disabilities, but their exclusion from mainstream
social, economic and political opportunities," says Dave McComiskey, Executive
Director of Christian Blind Mission International.
"We have to work together to stand up and speak out on the International
Day for the Eradication of Poverty to encourage our governments to honour
In 2000, leaders of 189 countries signed the Millennium Development
Goals, a global plan to halve poverty by 2015. Every day, 50,000 people die as
a result of extreme poverty. Over 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 per
day - yet the world has never been so prosperous.
The world has enough money, resources and technology to end poverty
forever. This year, 2007, marks the halfway point to achieving the MDGs, but
at this rate many Goals will not be met.
"It is more urgent than ever that we intensify our efforts to encourage
that promises made to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and end poverty
are kept," says McComiskey.
"We hear world leaders talking about their commitments to the Millennium
Development Goals, however we rarely hear their commitments to those living in
poverty suffering with a disability," he adds. "How are we going to meet the
Millennium Development Goals unless governments world wide include disability
development in their agenda for these forgotten people?"
Can you image having a disability, being the poorest of the poor? It's a
terrible vicious cycle. People are poor because they are disabled and disabled
because they are poor. Because they have disabilities, they cannot get a
proper education or make an adequate living which leads to poverty and poverty
continues the cycle of disabilities.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed
every year since 1993, when the General Assembly, by resolution 47/196,
designated October 17th to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty
and destitution in all countries, particularly in developing countries - a
need that has become a development priority.
CBMI currently supports 1,011 disability-focused projects in 112
countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
CBM is an expert at helping people with disabilities throughout the
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