Maputo — The Mozambican government on Tuesday approved a National Plan for the Disabled (PNAD), which will cost 890.6 million meticais (about 31 million US dollars) to implement.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) that approved the plan, the government spokesperson, Deputy Justice Minister Alberto Nkutumula, said the PNAD is an instrument for planning, budgeting, monitoring and assessing the activities of various bodies in support of disabled people.
He said the money necessary for implementing the PNAD will come from the institutions involved, including the government, associations of and for disabled people, international NGOs, United Nations agencies, and other international partner organisations.
The plan is to be implemented over seven years (2012-2019), and was drawn up by a multi-sector team, with members from state bodies, civil society organisations and international partners.
Nkutumula said a participatory method was used, with public consultations across the country, in a series of seminars, interviews and discussions with the institutions that work with disabled people.
There are an estimated 475,000 Mozambicans with disabilities - about two per cent of the total population of 23.7 million.
"Many of the disabled people live in rural areas where the levels of poverty are higher", said Nkutumula.
The plan, he added, is intended to guarantee the principle of equality of rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. Areas of intervention include vocational guidance and professional training, identification of alternative mechanisms for self-employment, expansion of basic education for disabled children and adults, facilitation of access to the formal and informal job market, guaranteed medical assistance, and the creation of a data bank about disabled people.
The Council of Ministers also passed a resolution determining that the mineral-rich western province of Tete will have a "Special Territorial Management Plan", to ensure the sustainable use of its resources. The plan will lay down conditions for using the natural systems in the province.
Nkutumula said the plan "also seeks to establish the structure of territorial organisation, reflecting the current situation, the potential, and the trends for physical expansion". It would define areas to develop various economic activities and areas for environmental protection.
He noted that Tete is currently experiencing a boom in investment in its minerals, "and so we must ensure that the resources there are exploited in a sustainable manner, and that they contribute to the economic and social development of the central provinces and of the entire country".