Making PRSP Inclusive
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4.2.2 Disability in Bangladesh

According to the national statistics, 0.47% of the population have some kind of disability (1991 census data; another census was conducted in 2001, but figures from this have not yet been released) (see http://www.apcdproject.org/). Other surveys conducted more recently by different organisations indicate a figure between 5 and 8%, which seems more realistic and closer to WHO statistics for other Asian countries. In Bangladesh, the Disability Welfare Act of 2001 acknowledges the concerns of people with disabilities. This legislation can be “considered as a milestone”, yet in the same breath “has been recognised as having various limitations and shortcomings” (http://www.apcdproject.org/). An important organisation in the country is NFOWD (the National Forum of Organisations Working with the Disabled), which consists of 176 member organisations, including various international organisations such as Handicap International, ActionAid, Sight Savers International, etc. The forum is closely linked to the Ministry of Welfare, so a close relationship exists with the government and, in consequence, good contacts have also been established with the PRS Planning Commission. The forum’s influence has grown during the long PRS process and is also based on personal contacts and individual relationships. The Bangladesh case study notes the extremely positive fact that the ministries in Bangladesh are not only aware of the concerns of people with disabilities, but are even very interested in the issue of disability itself.

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