1 July 2016
People living in extreme poverty first need to secure their daily consumption needs before they can graduate out of poverty. Livelihood programmes aim to improve the food security situation of these households. Common activities covered in livelihood programmes are group formation, empowerment, confidence building, asset and skills transfer, and savings. Participants are encouraged to start their own income generating activities to sustain their daily lives and increase their resilience. Amongst people with disabilities there is a great need to be included in these kinds of livelihood programmes, from which they are often excluded.
Together with ICCO Cooperation and The Leprosy Mission, and with support from the European Union, we have set up a joint food security programme in Bangladesh (2009-2013) where people with disabilities were included. On the basis of this experience we have developed a practical guideline for the inclusion of people with disabilities in food security programmes.
But there is still a lot to do. One possibility is the up-scaling and translation of lessons learned into large-scale government programmes. We are also interested in fi nding out how our inclusion approach can be applied in poverty reduction programmes that follow the graduation approach. This approach is very promising and would greatly benefit people with disabilities that live in extreme poverty. We are therefore actively looking for partnerships with organisations that follow this approach and are interested in making their programmes disability inclusive.