National Strategic Plan about disability in Palestine
On the 20th of December 2012, the Ministry of Social Affairs in Palestine launched a National Strategic Plan for the disability sector in the West Bank and Gaza. The plan is the culmination of efforts over two years by Diakonia and local organizations working with disabilities.
Result of hard work and cooperation
At the release ceremony, Fadya Salfiti of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) said that the strategy is the result of the hard work and cooperation between all parties. It is also under the supervision of the supreme council of the disabled to support the development of a national strategic plan for the disability sector in the West Bank and Gaza.
An inclusive process
A broad process of discussions and deliberations in the West Bank and Gaza was conducted during 2011 and 2012 with the relevant Palestinian Authority agencies, NGO's, and representatives of the Disabled People organizations. Diakonia has been an active part in that process, and has pushed forward the opinions of our partner organizations.
The Palestinian Prime Minister visited
At the ceremony, the Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was present. In his speech, he ensured the audience that the issue of equality among Persons with Disabilities (PwD:s) is a priority, and mentioned that there is a need to respect their rights and deal with them as normal individuals. Moreover, he ensured on the need to raise awareness about this framework and to form a fundamental basis for accountability and control over the work of this strategic framework.
Diakonia is content with the plan, as we feel that it addresses the disability issue comprehensively. The vision of the plan considers disability as a prime developmental issue, more so because it affects directly 7.4 per cent of the population whose rights are denied for cultural, environmental and legal reasons.
All in all, the plan stems from the principle that PwD:s are entitled to their rights on par with other citizens, and that these rights are indivisible and stipulated by local and international law.