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Sightsavers and International Disability Alliance join in $1 million partnership

April 2022

Sightsavers has given a new $1 million unrestricted grant to the International Disability Alliance (IDA) to help advance disability rights worldwide.

Sightsavers has worked in a strategic and effective partnership with the IDA since 2013, sharing expertise and resources to advance disability rights and the inclusion agenda. The organisations have worked together to organise two Global Disability Summits, supported the development and growth of the Global Action on Disability (GLAD) Network, and jointly led major consortium initiatives to advance inclusion of people with disabilities.

The grant will enable the global umbrella disability network to increase its advocacy work, provide technical assistance, and deliver capacity building for the world’s 1.2 billion people with disabilities and their representative organisations. The funding is unrestricted, which means it can be spent wherever it is needed, rather than being tied to a particular area of work.

This is the largest unrestricted grant Sightsavers has made during its 70 years of supporting partners, enabling the partnership with IDA to reach a new level. Behind this partnership lies a shared principle that people with disabilities are in the best place to decide how and where resources should be used to enable them to realise their rights.

IDA president Yannis Vardakastanis said: “I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for the financial support to IDA. There is no question that for us, at IDA, the partnership with Sightsavers is a flagship partnership. In these challenging times, partnerships like ours give hope and vision for disability rights. We are looking forward to continuing to work with you.”

Sightsavers chair Sir Clive Jones said: “We simply could not do what we do without the partnership between Sightsavers and IDA. We make this unprecedented show of solidarity with the firm belief that people with disabilities, and their representative organisations, are best placed to make and influence the decisions that affect their lives. This represents a commitment to the meaningful, independent and fully financed engagement of organisations of people with disabilities in the development process.”

This grant enables IDA to further its focus on the fact that inclusion cannot happen if people with disabilities and their organisations are not empowered to participate. The only successful way to ensure that people with disabilities and their representative organisations are recognised as agents of change is by including their voices on all matters and aspects of life.

Dr Caroline Harper hands a cheque to Yannis Vardakastanis, president of IDA.
Sightsavers’ CEO Dr Caroline Harper presents a cheque for $1 million to IDA president Yannis Vardakastanis.

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