Meta Expresses Support for Disabled Persons
Albanian Daily News
Published December 4, 2017
The President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta received on Sunday the representatives of the associations of persons with disabilities, on the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
During his speech, President Meta promised permanent support and dialogue to persons with disabilities. President Meta pledged to encourage state institutions and civil society to pay more attention to the challenges for their full integration into society.
Representatives of associations of people with disabilities expressed all their problems to the President Meta and thanked him for his attention and the open dialogue.
Persons with disabilities are a sizeable vulnerable population group. When it comes to social care, the number of beneficiaries receiving disability-related social protection in Albania was 162,350 in 2014 and 157,434 in 2015, according to the National Action Plan: Persons with Disabilities 2016-2020 published by UNDP on its website.
“Labour invalids constitute the largest group, with 74,373 persons. Households with disabled members are dependent on social protection cash payments: 79% of them receive some form of social protection cash transfers, which is nearly double the number of households without a disabled member,” UNDP added. Social protection transfers include: disability allowance, social assistance benefits, and help with energy bill payments. There are an additional 8,254 households with a disabled member in receipt of social assistance benefits, but disability does not constitute the main grounds for awarding the benefit. It must be noted that “even though disability allowance payments have increased year on year, it is still evident that disabled people find it difficult to cover their expenses with the money they receive.”
The annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons was proclaimed in 1992, by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and development, and to increase awareness of the situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.