|Attendees at the forum – PHOTO: COURTESY OF UNDP|
This was announced at a forum on digital entrepreneurship opportunities for persons with disabilities co-existing with Covid-19 that took place on Tuesday at Green One UN House, where representatives of organizations for persons with disabilities, the private sector, investors and supporters of start-ups discussed how to promote digital employment and start-up opportunities for people with disabilities.
Vietnam is currently home to more than 6.2 million people with disabilities, who have been among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the UNDP’s Rapid Assessment on Socio-Economic Impacts of Covid-19, 30% of people with disabilities lost their jobs, while some 50% had their work hours reduced and nearly 60% had to settle for pay cuts during the pandemic.
This year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities, which was commemorated on December 3, focused on “Building back better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post Covid-19 world”. It was based on the “leaving no one behind” principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in vulnerable situations.
Addressing the event, the UNDP resident representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen highlighted three approaches to accelerating the progress of the disability-inclusive implementation of the 2030 Agenda. These comprised taking a multi-stakeholder approach, recognizing persons with disabilities as experts on their needs and leading agents of change and putting in place adequate adjustments to enable persons with disabilities to take advantage of home-based or online employment.
“The UNDP is committed to working with the Government, development partners and civil society organizations to deepen our support to persons with disabilities in Vietnam and tackle the multi-dimensional challenges they face, including overcoming the growing digital divide in the context of Covid-19,” said Wiesen.
“As we work to build forward better, it is clear that we must put persons with disabilities—their inclusion, representation, rights, and protection—at the center of these efforts with the Sustainable Development Goals as our compass,” she added.
To contribute to a disability-inclusive recovery from Covid-19 and implement the recommendations of the Rapid Assessment, the UNDP with the support of the Government of Japan is providing training on digital skills for people with different types of disabilities to adapt to the new digitalization age after Covid-19.
Besides the four-month online and digital business training and coaching program for 22 people with visual impairments, the UNDP, the Will to Live Center and the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam earlier jointly launched a digital employment training program for 39 persons with disabilities on November 5, through which trainees will develop digital skills to be able to take up digital employment opportunities.
In addition, a model accessible district hospital is being built with rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, thus responding to their healthcare needs even during disasters.