The Global Disability Summit is our chance to take action!
— UNFPA (@UNFPA) February 16, 2022
He said that persons with disabilities were dying “at vastly higher rates”, all because they faced “persistent barriers in health systems”.
In developing countries “which are strangled financially”, Mr. Guterres noted that people with disabilities were among the first victims.
Turning to education, Mr. Guterres said that as schools have had to shut because of the coronavirus, many students with disabilities have been left without access to technology and assisted learning devices, making effective remote learning impossible.
According to the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, there are 240 million children with disabilities in the world.
Half have never attended school, the agency said on Wednesday, while up to one in three do not eat enough decent food to grow and thrive.
In a bid to ensure that all children with a disability have access to education, health, emergency response, social protection, family and community life, UNICEF pledged on Wednesday to mainstream disability in all of its research.
The agency also urged increased investment in technology and equipment to support vulnerable children with specific needs, thereby increasing their opportunities for education, employment and social engagement.
“Assistive technology like wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aids and glasses give people with disabilities the chance to overcome barriers and demonstrate what they can do, rather than what they cannot,” said UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore.