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Government Pledges Resilient Systems for Persons with Disabilities Post-COVID-19

The Zambian government, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to tackling the challenges encountered by individuals with disabilities, has announced its dedication to constructing resilient and shock-responsive systems. 

This commitment stems from the insights gained during the COVID-19 pandemic, a period that brought about substantial obstacles for persons with disabilities.

Speaking at the launch of the impact report on COVID-19 on persons with disabilities, Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Ms. Doreen Mwamba, emphasized the need for a well-coordinated and concerted effort involving the government, private sector, civil society, and cooperating partners. 

The minister stressed that the unique challenges faced by persons with disabilities during the pandemic require creative and inclusive responses.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted wide-ranging challenges for persons with disabilities, including difficulties in accessing support, disproportionate job losses, and reduced income and economic activity.

In a speech read on her behalf by Mr. Nelson Nyangu, the Director for Social Welfare, Ms. Mwamba expressed hope that the report would provide comprehensive information on the effects and impact of the pandemic. 

She emphasized the importance of effective measures to better prepare Zambia to address both the immediate and long-term effects of pandemics like COVID-19.

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Cissy Byenkya, echoed the sentiments, stating that the report reveals disproportionate challenges faced by persons with disabilities, such as job losses and difficulties in accessing support. 

Ms. Byenkya emphasized the urgency of addressing these disparities to ensure an inclusive recovery from the pandemic that leaves no one behind.

Mr. Frankson Musukwa, the Director General of the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), reiterated the call for concerted efforts to address the various challenges faced by people with disabilities.

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