Disability registry will be ready by July: Gender minister

Gender Minister Aishath Mohamed has said the national registry of those with disabilities would be compiled by July.

Delivering the Presidential Address at the start of the first session of Parliament for the year on Thursday, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had said the Maldives lacks a complete registry of those with disabilities. He said that formulating a national registry of those with disabilities would pave the way to improve essential services, rehabilitation, and therapy provided to them. Noting that the registry would be compiled this year, the president further announced that the government would raise the allowance issued to those with disabilities.

Regarding the registry, Minister Aishath Mohamed said while the work on formulating the registry is in progress, relevant classification guidelines are also being formulated.

The government currently provides a monthly allowance of MVR 2,000 to those with disabilities. The disabled community has repeatedly requested the government to increase the allowance to MVR 5,000.

The minister said the president's vision is to increase the allowance and said discussions are ongoing on issuing an allowance to caretakers.

'They cannot go and become employed; they cannot do any work to earn money for their livelihood. They are much like full-time nurses. Therefore, we are discussing issuing care allowances to such people,' the minister said.

Dr. Aishath Mohamed said currently, 9,646 people are registered as people with special needs. Last year, MVR 233 million was spent on them, she noted, including MVR 20 million for therapeutic services for 335 people.