The Malta Federation of Organisations Persons with Disability (MFOPD) is demanding that the European Union funding for economic recovery must ensure social inclusion.
The MFOPD, which is the national umbrella organization for the disability sector and is Malta’s representative at various EU fora, one being the European Disability Forum (EDF), wrote a letter to EU leaders to this effect.
This open letter was addressed to the Presidents of the European Council, Eurogroup, European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, and all Heads of State and Government of the European Union.
It was sent also to all Members of the European Parliament and the EU Commissioner for Equality.
The letter states that, “The impact of COVID 19 on employment and income stability is justifiably an area of deep concern for policy makers. It should be recognised that it is having a double impact on persons with disabilities, particularly women with disabilities. Even before this crisis, 28.7% of persons with disabilities in the EU were at risk of poverty, and only 50.8% were employed. Many persons with disabilities have precarious contracts and low salaries, giving them little or no protection during business closures.”
They therefore demanded the immediate earmarking of funding from the recently adopted European Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative and funding initiatives adopted as follow up to it. They said that they also expect that more long term funding is secured from the EU Budget post-2020.
The letter requests financial measures to directly support persons with disabilities and to guarantee the sustainability of health and support services. They called for the inclusion of organisations of persons with disabilities in bodies created to plan economic recovery and extensive collection of data disaggregated by disability.
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