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Zambia Advances Disability Inclusion in National Development

Zambia has made significant strides in incorporating persons with disabilities into various levels of national development.

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Ms Doreen Mwamba, highlighted these advancements during her virtual address at the ongoing convention on the rights of persons with disabilities in New York.

Ms Mwamba emphasised Zambia’s commitment to promoting the active and full participation of persons with disabilities in national development processes. 

She noted the improved inclusion achieved through training organisations for persons with disabilities in national planning, budgeting, monitoring, and evaluation.

The Minister announced the development of a plan to facilitate capacity building in disability-compliant budgeting, scheduled to be rolled out in July 2024. This initiative aims to ensure more resources are allocated to enhancing disability inclusion.

Ms Mwamba also discussed the enhanced implementation of shock-responsive social protection initiatives benefiting persons with disabilities, who are often the most affected during emergencies and disasters. 

She revealed that the government has improved their inclusion in social support services through a nationwide enumeration and rapid response assessment following the declaration of a national disaster.

Additionally, Ms Mwamba disclosed that the government has transformed the appointment of focal point persons in government ministries and institutions into focal point teams.

This transformation aims to boost collaboration and innovation for better outcomes in disability mainstreaming within institutions.

However, Ms Mwamba acknowledged the existing gaps in achieving full disability inclusion, citing deficiencies in technology knowledge, policies, laws, high ICT costs, and ongoing stigmatization.

She called for intensified collective action to implement strategies that accelerate the realisation of disability inclusion and foster sustainable interventions for the future.

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