Published on April 28, 2020

Improving Economic Self-Sustainability for People with Disabilities

Uzbekistan’s joint programme switches the current disability assessment to one that is focused on individual needs, income security and social support throughout their lives. A disability assessment and social services aimed at providing equal opportunities and improving economic self-sustainability capacities of people with disabilities.

Ozoda, an 8-year-old girl born with a physical disability lived in a rural area of Uzbekistan with her family. To sustain the family, her parents had to work restricting them to stay at home to care for Ozoda. Public services were not accessible to people with disabilities and stigma was a constant invasion. Ozoda’s parents found it difficult to access child disability benefits, so they only received a Family Allowance – poverty-targeted child benefits  for a period of less than one year. This is because social protection for children is viewed as a charity rather than an entitlement. Struggling for many years to care for Ozoda, she was eventually sent to live in a residential centre for children with disabilities in the region's capital.

The joint programme strategy will define social protection as an entitlement. Designed to provide appropriate support across the life-cycle, these tailored interventions to the specific needs of children, women and men with disabilities will contribute to better social inclusion and integration in society while overcoming stigma. Strengthening the delivery of core social security benefits for children with disabilities will access an additional financial allowance. Ozoda will be able to live at home with her family and grow up to lead a fulfilling life, gain a good education and eventually, a job to provide secure income.

The joint programme will support the Government in building and delivering a high-quality social protection system that offers all citizens of Uzbekistan – in particular, those at risk of being left behind – income security and social support throughout their lives. Jointly with the Government and civil society, by piloting the introduction of the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) in the assessment of disability, the programme will enable greater access of persons with disabilities to social protection and promote their full inclusion into different aspects of social life.