Human Rights

Low funding threatens Malawi’s commitments on disability inclusive development espoused in MW2063, SDGs and GDS

Malawi Council for Disability Affairs (MACODA) has asked the government to prioritise disability responsive budgeting, warning that inadequate funding to Disability Trust Fund (DTF) poses a serious threat to the realization of disability inclusive development.

Disability inclusive development is espoused by the Malawi 2063 (MW2063), United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Global Disability Summit (GDS).

Chiusiwa making a presentation
Chiusiwa making a presentation before players in the disability rights sector

But there is a fear that Malawi will not fulfill its commitments to the achievement of these goals because of lack of adequate financing towards DTF.

In his presentation at the on-going DRT Grantee Convening Workshop currently underway in Lilongwe, MACODA Director General (DG), George Chiusiwa, observed that despite existence of various services, persons with disabilities face barriers to access services that they require such as health, education, empowerment, and social, as a result, they lag behind in various aspects of life.

Chiusiwa therefore asked stakeholders in the disability rights sector to lobby for increased DTF funding, stating that prevailing funding inadequacies for the DTF are a key deficiency towards realising the spirit of the (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), African Disability Protocol (ADP) and the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2024.

“The UNCRPD requires member states to adopt and implement appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for their citizens with any forms of disability. Therefore, advocacy and lobbying for disability inclusive national budget analyses should be encouraged to improve government funding for disability programming,” he said.

A cross-section of the players in the disability rights sector following a presentation by MACODA Director General George Chiusiwa

This notwithstanding, Chiusiwa commended the government for operationalizing DTF, saying the fund will play a crucial role in supporting the implementation of disability programmes and provision of disability services in Malawi.

Among others, Chiusiwa said, DTF aims to finance research and training which promotes objectives of the Act and protection of PWDs, acquisition of land, equipment, materials and other assets for the benefits of PWDs.

The fund will also support implementation of, or provision of, any activity, programme, service or amenity which benefits persons with disabilities.

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