Inclusion Works, part of the Inclusive Futures programme, has shown employment is the key to empowering people with disabilities, business leaders, government and disability campaigners said Wednesday.
They said this at an event organised in Dhaka to mark the end of the employment programme that has "helped over the last three years to engage people with disabilities in work."
The programme is funded by UK aid and run-in partnership with international development organisations including Sightsavers, organisations of people with disabilities, and country partners to improve job opportunities for people with disabilities.
In Bangladesh, the IW Programme has created jobs for more than 500 people with disabilities and provided skills training to thousands of them to advance their job readiness, according to a media statement.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said, "The Bangladesh government has ensured comprehensive planning for the people with disabilities as per our disability act. The 8th Five Year Plan has also considered their issues and economic empowerment strongly."
Prime Minister's Office Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) Zuena Aziz said: "Our national development strategies and policies are aligned with the targets of the SDGs. The government is putting the best efforts forward to make sure people with disabilities are not left behind and considered within the country's progressing development planning."
Shafiqul Islam, country director of ADD International Bangladesh, said: "In just three years, Inclusive Futures has made a transformational impact and more than doubled the employment rate of jobseekers who took part, from nine percent in employment before the programme to 22 percent afterwards."
Amrita Rejina Rozario, country director of Sightsavers Bangladesh, said, "People with disabilities are twice as likely to be unemployed than non-disabled people. Opportunities to earn a living can be limited by stigma, discrimination and a lack of accessible workplaces, which can trap people in a cycle of poverty."
Source: United News of Bangladesh