The Global Disability Action Network (GLAD) has hosted a high-level virtual encounter on disability and Covid-19.
Although the coronavirus pandemic affects all citizens and is leaving its mark on all societies, people with disabilities are those worst affected. Despite being an at-risk population, during the pandemic, people with disabilities face even greater inequalities regarding issues such as access to basic services (health care, education, employment, etc.), with the progress made up until now being, in many cases, reversed.
GLAD organised this encounter to reflect on this issue and the need to propose an inclusive recovery, which takes into account people with disabilities. It also has an eye on the need for governments to adhere to the commitment in the Sustainable Development Goals to leave no one behind, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the recovery phase.
The encounter was opened by Amina Mohamed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and was attended by other top-level dignitaries, such as Dag Inge Ulstein, the Norwegian Minister of International Development and Ciaran Cannon, the Irish Minister of International Development. All of them touched on the different opportunities and challenges that the implementation of the SDGs related to the inclusion of disability currently present, and with the recovery from Covid-19 as a backdrop.
FIIAPP was present at this round table through its director, Anna Terrón, who highlighted the support offered in this regard by the EUROsociAL+, SOCIEUX, EVALÚA and Bridging the Gap projects. The latter has been strengthening access to inclusive and accessible information in Ecuador, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Sudan, the production and distribution of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in Burkina Faso and the analysis of the inclusion of people with disabilities in the government of Paraguay’s response to the pandemic, in order to ultimately support the design of more inclusive and data-based health and social protection policies.
A virtual call to action document was also presented at the virtual meeting, urging all the stakeholders to collaborate to ensure that the response to Covid-19 includes the rights of people with disabilities.