The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will make a $650,000 contribution to the economic and social inclusion of persons with disabilities through sports in the context of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The announcement was made in the presence of Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC); Sergio Díaz-Granados, Executive Director of the IDB for Colombia and Ecuador, and Héctor Salazar, Manager of the IDB Social Sector.
With the launch of the project named “Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities through Sports: Strengthening National Paralympic Structures”, the IDB will seek to strengthen national-level Paralympic organizations and to promote regional integration so as to facilitate access to the practice of sports by individuals with disabilities, thus enhancing their social and economic inclusion.
The program will be led by Colombia and will benefit El Salvador, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Peru. Brazil will participate as a mentor country in light of the country’s experience in the development of Paralympic sports. The International Paralympic Committee will be involved in its implementation as a key partner, as will the participating countries’ National Paralympic Committees and National Sports Organizations.
The goals of the project are to increase the availability of sporting clubs and training for athletes, to build the capacity of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs), and to design and implement a communications campaign to foster the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
In order to improve access to parasports, the donation also seeks to identify and support 300 athletes with disabilities who live in marginalized communities, to raise awareness of the Paralympic Movement throughout the region, and to help promote greater inclusion in Latin American society and learn more about the subject.
It will also enhance competitive opportunities for athletes, identify talents in at-risk areas, provide technical education for coaches, classifiers, and staff, develop awareness-raising activities, and create a framework to ensure cooperation among NPCs.
“People with disabilities face greater disadvantages in education, health, and employment than the general population. Therefore, the IDB wants to support Paralympic sports as a tool for social and economic inclusion that helps improve their quality of life,” said Héctor Salazar, Manager of the IDB’s Social Sector.
Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC, stated that “this support from the IDB will go a long way towards ensuring that the impact of Rio 2016 will extend to future generations.”
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source oflong-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
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