Could the UK’s Department of International Development (DIFID) assist those with deafness in the Solomon Islands?
Sophie Edwards a reporter for Devex based in London wrote an article in December 2018 which told of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development having launched its first disability strategy which disability champions hailed as “ambitious” but in need of dedicated financing to implement.
The announced plans covered DIFID’s external programs and within the department, fulfilling a key commitment made by the then Secretary of State for International Development and former minister for people with disabilities Penny Mordaunt.
At the time, disability groups said they were pleased to see a focus on issues such as “mental health conditions, psychosocial or intellectual disabilities,” as well as inclusion in humanitarian contexts included in the strategy. However, implementing it would require dedicated funding from DFID, advocates said.
A new disability inclusion delivery board made up of senior DFID staff would oversee the implementation of the strategy and publish annual progress reports.
Nicola Jones, principal research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, welcomed the focus on disability inclusion in humanitarian settings that she said could be a “real game changer” since the subject “hadn’t been on the radar for many agencies.”
More than 12 months on following DIFID’s disability strategy launch, it would be interesting to learn whether the organization could be the ‘game changer’ for those in need of hearing aids in the Solomon Islands, especially in respect of children with impaired hearing often as a result of having suffered from malaria.
Requests for help with hearing aids have not yet met with a response from the US Embassy in Port Moresby.