Disability in the Arab Region. An Overview
Disability is an intrinsic aspect of the human condition and most people will experience disability at some point in their lives. Globally, one billion people—or 15 per cent of the world population—are estimated to be living with disability. By contrast, Arab countries report comparatively low prevalence
of disability, ranging from 0.4 to 4.9 per cent of the population, which evidences widespread differences
and difficulties in data collection, research and analysis.
In response to this and on the occasion of the conclusion of the Arab Decade for Persons with Disabilities (2004-2013), adopted during the Arab Summit in 2004, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) together with the League of Arab States collected baseline information on disability in the Arab region. The results of this baseline study are presented in the following report, making it the first publication to bring together statistical data on the situation of persons with disabilities and information on the institutional and legal frameworks on disability for all 22 Arab countries.
The present report is divided into two sections. The first part summarizes a selected number of regional
trends related to disability, including disability prevalence, institutional and legal frameworks on disability, and access to education and employment. The second part, which represents the core of this report, presents a compilation of statistical data on persons with disabilities and qualitative
information on institutional and legal frameworks.