The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Persons with disabilities need more attention

The United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been annually observed on 3 December around the world since 1992. The theme for this year’s IDPD is ”Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”. This theme focuses on the empowering persons with disabilities for the inclusive, equitable and sustainable development envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The 2030 Agenda, pledging to “leave no one behind,” is an ambitious plan of action of the international community towards a peaceful and prosperous world, where dignity of an individual person and equality among all is applied as the fundamental principle, cutting across the three pillars of the work of the United Nations: Development, Human Rights and Peace and Security. It is critical to ensure, in this regard, the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and create enabling environments by, for and with persons with disabilities.
The aim of Disability Day is also to encourage a better understanding of people affected by a disability, together with helping to make people more aware of the rights, dignity and welfare of disabled people, as well as raise awareness about the benefits of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life, from economic, to political, to social and cultural ones. 
In Afghanistan, there are many factors which cause impairment, disabilities and lead people to become disabled. The most notable factors are war and landmine issues, given the long years of armed and political conflict in the country. However, it should be recognized that nature has been harsh on this already deprived region multiple years of drought and poverty left many people with impairments, especially malnutrition. Increasing number of road and other accidents are also among causes of impairments in Afghanistan. The lack of awareness on disability prevention led to many new cases of impairment which could be avoided. Further, the poor medical infrastructure meant that many treatable cases have to develop into permanent impairments.
Finally, other causes of disabilities are environmental factors including epidemics; accidents; natural disasters; and pollutions by poisoning and toxic waste all lead to causing impairments. Inaccessible environments in turn lead to creating new disabilities and perpetuating existing ones.
According to Ministry of Labor, Martyrs, Disabled and Social Affairs, the number of disabled who have been registered at the ministry and receive their salaries has reached to 120,000, while the number of Afghan disabled is more than 1 million. Every registered Afghan disabled receives 60,000 Afghani annually. The main problems facing Afghan disabled across the country are unemployment, lack of shelter and psychological and mental diseases. To address problems of persons with disabilities in the country, the government in particular the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and other relevant agencies should develop a comprehensive national employment strategy to address the employment needs of disabled people. In so doing, creating conditions to broaden the range of employment and economic development options for disabled people in order to narrow the income gap between non-disabled and disabled people. This should include early return to work programs as well as sheltered employment and public, self and private options of employment.
Lailuma Noori

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.