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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

More funds for disabled in Poland: gov't minister

03.12.2019 13:15
A wide range of assistance is available to disabled people in Poland, and public funding for such help is growing, a government minister said on Tuesday, International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Marlena Maląg, Polands minister for family, labour and social policy.
Marlena Maląg, Poland's minister for family, labour and social policy.Picture: Polish Radio

Marlena Maląg, the minister for family, labour and social policy, told public broadcaster Polish Radio that more than PLN 20 billion (EUR 4.67 billion, USD 5.17 billion) in funds would be allocated to support disabled people across the country this year in total.

Next year the figure is expected to grow to PLN 27 billion, she said.

Maląg added that the government’s help for people with disabilities included “long-term and comprehensive institutional support,” in addition a host of benefits and measures designed to encourage professional and social involvement.

New benefits for disabled adults who are unable to care for themselves came into force in Poland in October in what officials have hailed as a step toward building a society of solidarity.

Under the programme, adult Poles who are seriously disabled and unable to fend for themselves are eligible for a handout of around PLN 500 (EUR 116, USD 130) every month.

The new benefits, dubbed “500-plus for disabled people," are among a swathe of initiatives championed by the country’s governing conservatives as help for poorer and disadvantaged members of society.

Poland’s government last year approved a multibillion programme to redesign public infrastructure and make it more accessible to people with mobility problems.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at the time that some PLN 23 billion (EUR 5.4 bn, USD 6.2 bn) would be spent by the end of 2025 under the programme, dubbed Accessibility Plus, to improve the living conditions of citizens with various kinds of mobility impairments.

Architectural barriers are expected to disappear in public institutions, schools and healthcare centres across Poland under a plan signed into law by the country’s president this summer.

Under the new rules signed by President Andrzej Duda in August, public institutions, offices, schools, universities and healthcare facilities will have to ensure accessibility in terms of architecture as well as digital technology and information for people with special needs, including wheelchair-confined citizens and those who are deaf or blind.

Disabled people make up 12 percent of Poland’s population, according to an estimate cited by a Cabinet minister earlier this year.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, PAP