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.


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Inclusive Agri-food Value-chains Development Project


Nav Tejaswini Maharashtra Rural Women's Enterprise Development Project

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