Disability Text

One in 8 people have a disability and, of them, 4 in 5 live in developing countries. Persons with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, with this likelihood doubling in some countries.

Despite being “the world’s largest minority”, they face significant challenges which prevent them from fully participating in society and the economy, including discrimination and accessibility issues in physical and virtual environments.

Persons with disabilities living in rural areas face even more challenges than in urban areas. They are less likely to have attended school, be employed, have healthcare or own a mobile phone, while rural development projects often exclude them.

However, research shows that persons with disabilities in rural areas are economically active and have the potential to generate income and pull themselves out of poverty.

Given that supporting persons with disabilities is critical to thriving rural communities, IFAD’s work increasingly promotes their rights, while IFAD’s corporate disability inclusion strategy outlines an approach that builds partnerships with organizations led by persons with disabilities, addresses accessibility, allocates dedicated financial resources and generates disability-disaggregated data.

In depth

In depth

SPARK: Inclusive rural transformation

SPARK uses a systemic action learning approach to impact the lives of 7,000 persons with disabilities in Burkina Faso, India, Mozambique, and Malawi.

Projects

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Sierra Leone

Agricultural Value Chain Development Project (AVDP)

Mozambique

Inclusive Agri-food Value-chains Development Project

India

Nav Tejaswini Maharashtra Rural Women's Enterprise Development Project

Stories and news

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Putting rural people in the development driving seat in Ethiopia

January 2023 - STORY
In Ethiopia, community driven development puts small-scale farmers in charge of identifying what they need to prosper and how development funding should be used.

In Sierra Leone, social inclusion that leaves no one behind

December 2022 - STORY
In Sierra Leone, IFAD helps persons with disabilities overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic through farming.

How disability and the climate crisis converge

December 2022 - STORY
18 million persons with disabilities are expected to be displaced by climatic events by 2050, we must urgently include them in climate action—both as participants and decision makers.

Opening opportunities for people with disabilities in rural Nepal

December 2022 - STORY
In a remote village in wester Nepal, an IFAD-supported project is working to enhance the resilience of the most vulnerable members of the community, including women and people with disabilities.

Videos

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Helping farmers with disability respond to climate change
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Senegal: Focusing on Ability

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