ADB Hosts National Workshop on Disability and Poverty in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA (13 August 2002) - A National Workshop organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to discuss disability and poverty will be held at the Galadari Hotel, Colombo, from 15 to 17 August, 2002.

The workshop will bring together representatives from government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), donors, United Nations agencies, associations for persons with disabilities, and the private sector. Participants will develop a national action plan to mainstream disability issues in poverty reduction strategies.

The workshop is part of an ADB regional technical assistance project to develop similar plans in India, Cambodia and the Philippines. In Sri Lanka, where the project is being implemented through the Ministry of Social Welfare, the findings of earlier provincial workshops in Kandy and Hikkaduwa will be discussed at the national meeting.

The ADB project is associated with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Regional Decade of Disabled Persons, 1993 to 2002, as well as related activities of the International Labour Organization and the World Bank.

The ADB project, which will help to extend ESCAP's work beyond the decade, focuses on inclusion and stresses to change attitudes towards disability.

Persons with disabilities should not be regarded as recipients of charity but as people with rights who are valued and productive members of society.

The findings of the ADB project in four countries will be presented at a Regional Meeting in Manila from 2 to 4 October. This will contribute to the ESCAP regional review to be discussed at a High-level Intergovernmental Meeting in Japan from 25 to 28 October 2002.

© 2002 Asian Development Bank