- February 17, 2021

The Arab Organisation of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD) and the International Disability Alliance (IDA) concluded three days workshop in Cairo, Egypt, that took place from 14 to 16 February 2021, with 15 participants, including representatives of Egyptian organisation of persons with disabilities and was opened by Mr Nawaf Kabbara, Chair of AOPD, Ms Jahda Abou Khalil, AOPD Director, and Mr Tarek Alnabulsi, Director of the Department of Social Policy and Development at the Arab League States. 

DPOs at the meeting in Cairo

During these three days, participants discussed a number of diverse topics, including discussions about the situation of persons with disabilities during the Covid 19 pandemic, as well as discussions about the sustainable development goals report related to the Arab Republic of Egypt. Additionally, organizations of persons with disabilities and government representatives discussed preparations for the World Disability Summit 2022.

First day-14th February

As the Covid-19 crisis has clearly shown that people with disabilities are negatively affected by this pandemic as social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine measures are a great challenge for them. Furthermore, the lockdown imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic has led many of them to lose their jobs and therefore their income. The day was designed as an interactive discussion to develop a general framework for a guidebook on the challenges faced by people with disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic, including pressing strategies for organizations with disabilities and recommendations for health workers as well as governments.

The following outlines were proposed to include in the guidebook:

  • Explanation of the major challenges faced by all people with disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic, with different examples presented,
  • Advice and guidance for organizations of people with disabilities on how best to respond to the pandemic as well as how to monitor the inclusion of disability in emergency responses,
  • Recommendations addressed to Governments and health workers to adapt their messages, guidelines, among others, to be accessible for persons with disabilities.

Workshop in Egypt, Cairo. Participants in the meeting room

The second day-15th February

AOPD and IDA issued a report on the implementation of the SDGs from the perspective of the CRPD in the Arab region. This report covered 10 Arab countries, including Egypt. On the second day, participants discussed the findings of this report and the opportunities to update it, as Egypt is up to review by the High-level Political Forum this year, for the third time.

Workshop in Egypt, Cairo.

The third day-16th February

On this day, Jahda Abou Khalil, AOPD Director, presented the history of the Global Disability Summit 2018 (GDS) that took place in London, UK, highlighting the participation of Egypt government during the Summit as well as of the DPOs and INGOs. She also shared with participants the main commitments made on Egypt during the Summit. The opening session was followed by a presentation from Ms Tchaurea Fleury, IDA’ Capacity Building Director, explaining the preparations of the GDS 2022, and the importance of proposing thematic areas and key recommendations for the upcoming Summit. The virtual presentation was followed by a number of questions and answers. Then, AOPD shared the videos prepared by Minister Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development Norway, and Vladimir Cuk, IDA Executive Director, greetings participants to this national consultation and sharing the importance of the GS 2022.

Participants in the meeting room in Cairo, Egypt.

Mr Tarek Alnabulsi, Director of the Department of Social Policy and Development at the Arab League States, proposed to make a day of consultations at the Arab League States in December 2021, at a Ministerial level, with the participation of representatives from Norway, IDA and AOPD.

This consultation is part of a series of national and regional consultations IDA, its members and allies are holding around the world ahead of the World Disability Summit 2022.

>>Download Concept Note and tentative agenda here

>>To learn more about the Global Disability Summit, please click here.

>>Read more about the Global Disability Summit Consultations 2020 here.

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