Challenging the invisibility of older people in international development
By 2050 people aged 65 and over are estimated to form one-sixth of the global population, 80% of whom will live in developing countries (UNDESA, 2019). A new report published by King’s College London highlights how international development is often ageist and ignores the interests, needs and contributions of older people. The findings in the report, ‘Challenging the invisibility of older people in international development’, have a particular resonance in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic.
In a recent address to the UN the UN Secretary-General said:
‘The [Covid-19] pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation. It is likely to have a particularly devastating impact on older people in developing countries.’
The comment reflects historical discrimination against older people. The research by Dr Valerie Lipman shows that older people have been and continue to be systematically ignored within the debates held by international government and non-government agencies on social and economic change.
Valerie Lipman (PhD) is an Honorary Research Fellow at the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce (HSCWRU), The Policy Institute, King’s College London. She has over 40 years’ experience of working with not for profit organisations in international development and in ageing. For more information contact [email protected]