In developing countries, as in more developed areas, disabled people (and their families) are more likely than the rest of the population to live in poverty. Moderate to severely disabled people have been estimated to make up 15 to 20 percent of the poor in developing countries, while comprising only 5 percent of the overall population. It is a two-way relationship -- disability adds to the risk of poverty, and conditions of poverty increase the risk of disability. Reports indicate that in many developing countries, higher disability rates are associated with higher illiteracy, poor nutritional status, lower inoculation and immunization coverage, higher unemployment and underemployment rates, and lower occupational mobility.
In addition to lower education and income rates, the disabled are often at risk of social exclusion. Recent UNESCO studies have suggested that only 1-2% of children with disabilities in developing countries receive an education. Project Impact seeks to ameliorate the effects of disability in an ongoing way through its eye care and hearing care projects, enabling the visually and hearing impaired to participate more fully in the social and economic lives of their society.