POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND SUSTAINABLE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED IN A RECESSED ECONOMY

Christopher Chimaobi Ibekwe, Andrew O. Obiajulu, Nneka Perpetua Oli, Ignatus Uche Nwankwo, Bentina Alawari Mathias, Rex Eze Ufomba

Abstract


Poverty alleviation is a cautious and articulated programme aimed at improving sustained self dependence of the vulnerable (poor) members of a society. The relegation of the poor in formulation and implementation of policies affecting them is adversarial to sustainable development. The paper examined poverty alleviation and sustainable human development of the physically challenged in a recessed economy of Imo State, Nigeria. The theoretical thrust of the paper is the elite theory. Cross-sectional survey design was employed and respondents were the Mbaise members of the Association of Persons with Disability (APWD). The sample size was 150 and they were selected using multi-stage sampling procedure. The major instrument for data collection was questionnaire. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software was used in data analysis. The result revealed amongst others, that 42.2% of the respondents believed that they were left out of pro-poor policy formulation due to ignorance of policy makers; 31.1% attributed it to wrong perception of their physical challenges, and 5.0% blamed it on corruption. Again, it was found that majority (51.6%) of the respondents indicated that support gadgets (like wheelchairs, walking staff, eye glasses etc) were part of palliatives they usually receive and 25.9% said it was philanthropic stipends/alms. However, 16.9% held the view of periodic entertainments; while just 4.8% indicated skills acquisition/small business establishment. Findings of the study indicate that poverty alleviation programmes have not really impacted the physically challenged persons in Imo State and that without adequate educational (scholarships), or skills empowerment, many of them will continue to live dependent lives. It therefore recommended amongst others, that government should as a matter of fairness and social justice appoint a member of the APWD as a Special Adviser (S.A) on disability affairs; poverty alleviation for the physically challenged should be geared towards academic scholarships and skill acquisition/business establishment. Lastly, government should create Ministry of Disability Affairs where a member of the APWD will be the Minister or Commissioner to cushion the effect of years of neglect as to restore confidence of total inclusion in governance.

Keywords


economic recession, people with disability, physically challenged, poverty alleviation, sustainable development

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References


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