Over 1 billion people around the world live with some form of disability, accounting for 15% of the world population. Around 80% of persons with disabilities (PWDs) live in developing countries including 1,617,924 persons in Sri Lanka. Hardships faced by such persons are greater for those living in developing countries due to limited resources and facilities available to them. PWDs are an important group that needs to be considered when building an all-inclusive COVID-19 recovery plan. They often tend to get excluded or only partly considered due to the heterogeneous nature of the difficulties they face owing to the diversity in the types of disabilities and support required. This blog explores the significant challenges faced by PWDs amidst COVID-19 and outlines strategies that Sri Lanka can adopt towards ensuring an inclusive recovery.
There are several steps Sri Lanka can take to fast-track the achievement of SDG 1, and extend greater social protection to its most vulnerable groups. This blog analyses the Samurdhi (prosperity) programme, the country’s main poverty alleviation initiative launched in 1995, and argues that addressing its core problem of poor targeting of beneficiaries is essential to end poverty in Sri Lanka.