Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services, Shidatha Shareef, has stated that work is underway to release a guideline for the classification of disabilities.
While speaking on RaajjeTV’s “Fala Suruhee” programme, the minister stated that despite the many years of investments made to develop services in the country by previous administrations, there have been no viable improvements. She noted that the incumbent government is the first administration to provide adequate funding for the country’s societal development.
According to the 2020 state budget, 3.9 billion has been allocated to policies relevant to the gender ministry. Likewise, the budget has allocated 37 million to establish facilities for children, 14 million to for a senior citizens center in Hulhumale and in laamu atoll, 7 million to establish residential treatment facilities for women, 53 million for single-parent allowances, and 216 million for disability allowances.
The minister revealed that work on the guideline was underway while highlighting the disability benefits provided by the state.
“We are working on releasing a classification of disabilities. Currently, we are in the final stages”
~ Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services, Shidatha Shareef
According to the minister, there is additional work to be done before establishing these guidelines and that the ministry is looking into providing extra assistance to parties that require welfare benefits the most until then.
She noted that the ministry is working on identifying these services and gave assurance of a resolution in the upcoming months.
The minister divulged that the current administration's aim is to empower disabled individuals and provide services that allow them to participate in society the same as any abled person rather than just providing welfare benefits. Hence, she stated that there is hope for job opportunities and other services for disabled persons.
There are currently 8000 people registered for disability allowance under the law (8/2010) “The disability act of Maldives” at the National Social Protection Agency (NSPA).
The allowance was introduced to protect disabled citizens and provide them with the same rights and opportunities as any other citizen.