ESCWA to Issue Report on Disability in Arab Region for 2017 Skip to main content

ESCWA to Issue Report on Disability in Arab Region for 2017

Beirut, Lebanon

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) held on 11 and 12 April 2017 an expert group meeting at the UN House in Beirut to discuss its upcoming report entitled “Disability in the Arab Region 2017: Strengthening Social Protection for Persons with Disabilities.”
The report will provide an update to the ESCWA first flagship report on Disability in the Arab Region, published in 2014 with the League of Arab States.
The meeting was attended by government officials from Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Participants also included representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as representatives of regional and international organizations of persons with disabilities and independent experts.
Participants discussed three main issues covered by the report: how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development supports persons with disabilities; the situation of persons with disabilities in the Arab region; and the disability-inclusive social protection in the Arab region. They also went into some of the challenges related to implementing social protection programmes in Arab countries.
The meeting underscored that improving conditions for persons with disabilities will benefit society as a whole and vice versa. Moreover, all the goals are cross cutting so countries should do their best to implement it holistically.
Participants agreed that there are many challenges across the region on collecting and improving disability-related statistics. It will be important that data collection methods on disability are expanded and standardized in order to have more accurate and comparable data, which will benefit all countries.
On the issue of social protection for persons with disabilities in the Arab region, participants highlighted that there have been many advances in the Arab region expanding social protection for persons with disabilities, but also noted many remaining challenges.
ESCWA Flagship Report on Disability in the Region with LAS - 2014