WaterAid tells UK Parliament: It's time to act on disability

Barbara Frost told the International Development Select Committee of the House of Commons that the needs of disabled people must be considered in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes.


21 Jan 2014

WaterAid Chief Executive Barbara Frost was one of six experts giving evidence on Tuesday into how the UK Government should approach issues concerning disability in its aid programmes.

An estimated 15% of the world's population is disabled but the impact of programmes on disabled people is often not considered at all.

"The costs of inclusion can be very modest, as simple as adapting a toilet seat for use over a latrine, and education to help remove the stigma of disability. But the costs of failing to include disabled people are immeasurably high," Barbara told Parliamentarians.

"I was first approached in the late 1990s to discuss a Government strategy on disability in aid programmes. Here we are, 14 years later, having the same conversations. It's time to act."

After giving evidence to the Committee, she added, "Leaving no one behind is so important, and it is not difficult. This is about making sure disabled people, who face the most discrimination and are most likely to live in poverty, can access the same programmes as everyone around them. Those life-changing gains are passed on to everyone in their communities, for maximum economic impact."

This session was the second of three conducted by the International Development Select Committee, ahead of a report expected later this spring.

A third session of inquiry will follow in early February.

Watch the session >

Read the written submission >

We also Storified some of the key tweets in the build up to, during, and after the hearing: