Foreign Assistance:

Assistance to Disabled Persons in Developing Countries

NSIAD-91-82: Published: Feb 15, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on assistance to disabled people in developing countries.

GAO found that: (1) the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations have taken steps to address disability issues, but have not met all program goals; (2) UN lacked adequate financial contributions to support its program and a voluntary trust fund for disabled persons; (3) as of June 1989, contributions to the voluntary fund totalled $2.4 million, an amount that UN officials reported as inadequate for continued program funding; (4) several UN agencies promoted the goals of the world program through a variety of activities; (5) several U.S. government agencies provided assistance to disabled persons in developing countries, but with the exception of the Peace Corps, they sporadically provided assistance rather than including it in regular programs and objectives; (6) the Department of State has been the leading advocate for major UN efforts; (7) the Agency for International Development (AID) did not attempt to target the disabled in its regular bilateral programs but provided several million dollars in assistance to the disabled in developing countries; (8) since fiscal year 1989, AID has had authority to provide assistance to civilian war victims; and (9) nongovernment organizations continued to provide a wide range of assistance to disabled persons, but many of those programs remained limited because of a lack of sufficient staffing and funding.

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