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Disability-inclusive development

Australia's assistance for disability-inclusive development

2022-23 central Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$9.6 million
2021-22 central Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$9.6 million

The central disability budget is only a small component of Australia’s larger contribution to disability-inclusive development activities. In 2020-21, this totalled $97.7 million in actual expenditure, including support through bilateral programs and mainstreaming disability-inclusion across the development program. Annual disability expenditure reflects year on year variation in disability inclusion expenditure across programs.

Partnerships for recovery and disability-inclusive development

Approximately one in seven people globally have disabilities (around one billion people) and they and their families are disproportionately affected by poverty. Disability inclusion, alongside gender equality, is a cross-cutting priority for Australia's international engagement in development, humanitarian action and human rights, including our COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Partnerships for Recovery: Australia's COVID-19 Development Response (Partnerships for Recovery) reaffirms Australia's focus on the most vulnerable, including women and girls, people with disabilities and those living in poverty. People with disabilities may be at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and more likely to be disproportionately affected by its health, economic and social impacts.

How we are helping

Australia's disability inclusion strategy, Development for All 2015-2020: Strategy for strengthening disability-inclusive development in Australia's aid program  (extended to 2021) (Development for All) commits us to strengthening disability-inclusive development in Australia's development program. The strategy, extended to the end of 2021, identifies key opportunities where disability-inclusive development can be strengthened based on the investment priorities of the development program. These opportunities identify areas where Australia can make the most difference, based on the key disability-inclusive development challenges within our region, our achievements to date and our recognised expertise.

In line with the Development for All strategy, Australia is mainstreaming disability throughout the development program pivot to ensure disability-inclusive responses to COVID-19. For example, Australian support has enabled sign language interpretation and other accessible information about COVID-19 in Indonesia, Samoa and the Solomon Islands.

Australia is a strong and consistent advocate for disability inclusion in international forums including: support for Ms Rosemary Kayess' initial term (2019-22) and re-election (2023-26) to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and encouraging civil society engagement, including disabled people's organisations, in UN and other multilateral systems.  Disability rights was also a focus of Australia's (2018-20) term on the UN Human Rights Council.

How we contribute

Australia works actively with key partners to advocate for and enable disability-inclusive COVID‑19 response and recovery efforts. Australia has renewed or reaffirmed support to key partners enabling them to adjust operations to disability-inclusive COVID-19 responses, and will continue to draw on this technical assistance and advice in its COVID-19 response.

Further information on programs addressing disability-inclusive development can be found at Pillar 2 Stability.

Australia's development efforts are set out in Partnerships for Recovery: Australia's COVID-19 Development Response

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