The World Bank has estimated that persons with disabilities account for up to 1 in 5 of the world’s poorest people, that is, those who live on less than one dollar a day and who lack access to basic necessities such as food, clean water, clothing and shelter.

Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of disability. Correlates of poverty, such as inadequate medical care and unsafe environments, significantly contribute to the incidence and impact of disability, and complicate efforts for prevention and response.

By the same measure, many of the factors contributing to high levels of impairment among children are potentially preventable, thus offering the opportunity to reduce the levels of disability as well as of poverty. Such factors include malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies, preventable diseases such as measles, lack of sanitation and clean water, as well as violence, abuse and exploitation, including through labour.

Lack of access to all levels of education and low levels of family support in any community are also closely linked to both poverty and disability.

In the light of the inextricable link between poverty and disability, effective action to reduce poverty must address disability concerns in a systematic manner.
(United Nations Statistics Division 2007).

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