The National Union of Disability Organisations of Rwanda (NUDOR) wishes to appeal to the Government of Rwanda and district authorities countrywide to do more to pull people with disabilities out of poverty.
This is in response to inquiries made by the organisation into how people with disabilities had benefitted from poverty reduction programmes in Gasabo, Gatsibo, Gakenke, Ngororero and Nyaruguru districts.
At a recent news briefing to discuss preliminary findings, Jean Damascene Nsengiyumva the Executive Secretary of NUDOR is quoted as saying that “in evaluating programmes such as VUP, Girinka and Mutelle de Sante, it has become clear that districts are not fully able to include those with disabilities. This is mainly due to lack of training and guidance from central government”.
“The will is there to help people with disabilities but huge gaps remain, for example, there has still not been a proper categorisation of those with disabilities or an assessment of their needs. There is still not enough understanding in districts about how to communicate with or provide quality services, such as education and health care to those with disabilities”.
NUDOR will produce a full report in the coming weeks but some proposals which have been raised include the creation of a specific budget line to support people with disabilities, and revision of the Ubedehe categorisation process so that disability is fully considered as an additional factor leading to poverty and vulnerability.
Although a few people with disabilities have benefited from those strategies under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS1), their involvement still fell far below that of other citizens. That is why it has been recommended that disability should be considered as a cross-cutting issue in the forthcoming EDPRS2.
According to Nsengiyumva, “if PLWDs are fully benefiting from such programmes, poverty will be reduced in the long-run and those with disabilities will be able to contribute fully to the development of Rwanda.
Omar Bahati NUDOR
Govt can do better to pull people with disabilities out of poverty