Burma Govt to Establish Fund for People Living With Disabilities

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By Lalnun – A trust will be set up to promote the rights of people living with disabilities in Burma, government officials said.

U Soe Aung, deputy minister of social welfare, relief and resettlement ministry reportedly told parliamentarians at the end of January that the government had drafted a plan for the 2019-2020 financial year to provide education and work opportunities for those whose disabilities prevent them from going to school.

Daw Siami (Daw Aye Aye Mu), an MP for Sagaing’s Kalay Township, brought up the issue in the Union Parliament, asking for the government’s strategy to assist those with disabilities.

Deputy director of the Development of Disabled People, Joshua, said that the government should work with civil society to address the current needs.

“It’s better if we have township, district, and state or regional organizations which work for the development of disabled people. Currently, we have difficulties because we cannot form the organizations at these different levels,” he explained, adding that this causes a delay in implementing changes to assist vulnerable communities.

According to U Soe Aung, the government already drafted a development strategy for 2016-2025 concerning those with disabilities in Burma, as well as an annual working program to implement it.

However, the inability to establish organizations at more decentralized levels, has led to a “gap” between policy and implementation and subsequent delays, Joshua said   

“If there is a policy, we may start the implementation process in 2020,” he added, pointing out that government assistance often doesn’t reach remote areas. There are an estimated 2.5 million of people living with disabilities in Burma, according to data gathered in 2014. This accounts for 4.6 percent of the country’s population. Chin State has the second largest number of people with disabilities in Burma.

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