UN roles out project for people living with disabilities

United Nations (UN) resident coordinator, Rachel Odede. Photo: African Media.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – United Nations (UN) resident coordinator, Rachel Odede, recently disclosed to media that the United Nations Office in Namibia received over N$6,6 million in December from the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to implement a project that will ensure their inclusion.

Speaking to the Namibian, Odede stated that the project will run for three years up to March 2022.

She also mentioned that the project is a joint effort between Unicef, UNDP and UNFPA under the theme “Strengthening Integrated Systems to Promote Access to Services for Persons with Disabilities in Namibia”.

The project was made possible through the ratification and implementation of various instruments, which include the Namibian Constitution, national policy on disability, and the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5).

She said at the regional level, the instruments include the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the African Union Agenda 2063.

At a global level, the rights of people living with disabilities are being addressed through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Optional Protocol, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“These instruments also highlight the importance of including persons with disabilities in the conversation, and providing inclusive and accessible platforms for them to lead the discussion,” said Odede.

A UN press statement dated 11 February said the multi-stakeholders’ project inception meeting, which ends tomorrow, brought together close to 70 stakeholders, including representatives of the government and the UN, civil society organisations, organisations of persons with disabilities, service providers and academia.

“The meeting will be an opportunity for the government and its partners to identify key challenges and barriers faced by persons with disabilities in Namibia to inform project implementation, and to strengthen the use of data for planning and budgeting purposes, and increasing access to early childhood development,” the press release stated.

Through project implementation, Namibia will be affirming the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ commitment to mainstream disability issues as an integral part of sustainable development.

Deputy minister of disability affairs Alexia Manombe-Ncube said persons living with disabilities need to be at the forefront of interventions benefiting them, and expressed joy over the project, which places more focus on the meaningful participation of persons with disabilities.

“Our children with disabilities are not benefiting from early childhood development and education services, and I hope that the intervention focusing on the early identification, assessment and referral will contribute to increased access to ECD and education among our children,” Manombe-Ncube said.

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