The Fred Hollows Foundation has endorsed an open letter requesting increased government funding for development projects that benefit people with disabilities in the next Federal Budget.

Kevin Rudd, Minister for Foreign Affairs, is the recipient of the letter from the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), which leaders of development organisations including The Foundation’s CEO Brian Doolan have signed.

“We believe there needs to be an urgent injection of $100 million into specific disability-inclusive development support as well as support through other aid areas,” the letter says.

“Several ACFID member agencies and other key organisations working towards poverty alleviation of the world’s largest minority, people with disability, have joined ACFID in this letter calling for the aid program’s ongoing disability-inclusive development support.”

It is estimated that 39 million people across the world live with the disability of blindness. Vision impairment restricts their ability to participate in everyday activities including education, employment and family and community life. Three out of four people who are blind don't have to be, and with access to the right treatment can have their sight restored.

Health services, rehabilitation, education and research benefiting people with disability are some of the key areas the signatories have called for investment in through the upcoming Federal Budget, to be released next May.

Addressing disability is strongly linked to the promotion and protection of human rights and to the alleviation of poverty and social exclusion. In 2009 The Fred Hollows Foundation, through the support of Australian donors, contributed to the global fight against avoidable blindness by restoring sight to 195,406 people in 18 countries.

>Learn more about The Foundation's approach to disability and development.