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UK pledges to continue supporting Kenya’s disability inclusion initiatives

The summit was co-hosted by the governments of Kenya and the UK in collaboration with the International Disability Alliance. Photo/CHAMS MEDIA.

LONDON, United Kingdom July 25 – The British Secretary of State for International Development, Penny Mordaunt, has said Kenya is a shining example on disability inclusion programmes.

Speaking at the just concluded Global Disability Summit in London, Mordaunt said Kenya was among the first nations to sign up to the UN charter on people with disabilities and has a great track record on legislation that supports improvement of the plight of persons with disabilities.

She said, “Kenya also has a great relationship with disabled peoples’ organisations and the civil society.”

The summit was co-hosted by the governments of Kenya and the UK in collaboration with the International Disability Alliance.

The UK minister visited Kenya in January this year and part of her visit was fact finding on projects aimed at social economic empowerment of persons with disabilities.

The British government has been supporting Kenya’s cash transfer programmes to persons with disabilities.

“I saw one of the initiatives we have been working on with the Kenyan government on social security protection and I was really impressed that at the community level it is the communities that are identifying individuals and households that have someone with disabilities in it,” She said.

Mordaunt emphasized that the UK has a fantastic partnership with Kenya that is going to continue.

“We want to ensure that everybody has access to good quality education and that education is inclusive. We are doing a lot of work not just with our aid budget but also through investments and businesses, so we are here for a long-term relationship,” said the minister.

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The president of Ecuador Lenin Moreno, the only president with disabilities in the world attended the summit. He said he was impressed with the huge attendance of individuals and organisations at the summit. He shared Ecuador’s successes in the fight against stima and discrimination against persons with disabilities and urged nations to work together eradicate the vice.

During his closing remarks at the one day summit, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection Ukur Yatani said, Kenya was honoured to co-host the summit with the UK and this was a huge diplomatic score for the people of Kenya.

“While we consider this a recognition of our efforts towards addressing economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights of persons with disabilities, the summit has provided us with an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made towards ensuring that persons with disabilities are not left behind in the development agenda.

The Cabinet Secretary however noted that there exists gaps particularly in regards to data on disability posing serious challenges to planning.

“As a result we are committing to improving the collection of accurate data, disaggregated by gender, age, disability and geographic location for use in planning.

Yatani said as part of this commitment, the government of Kenya will make use of the Washington Group Short set of Questions during the upcoming 2019 Housing and Population Censuses and Surveys to bring out critical evidence of the status of people with disabilities to enable inclusive national planning.

[Article by Alex Chamwada of CHAMS Media]

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