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The inclusion of disability in the Sustainable Development Goals is a breakthrough for the billion people around the world who experience some form of disability. Four-fifths live in developing countries, and although they are amongst the poorest, they often find their needs ignored by local governments and aid programmes alike. The challenge ahead for the EU and its partners is to bring the spirit of the SDGs into the detail of aid programming.
Haiti has struggled to recover from a devastating earthquake in 2010 which exacerbated existing development challenges. Ambassador Vincent Degert discusses how development and humanitarian actors are working together to build resilience on the island in the face of continued threats. He also outlines EU support for state-sector reform and capacity development in areas from infrastructure to education.
In recent years Brazil has filled the news, from hosting the World Cup and Olympic Games, to corruption scandals and most recently the President’s impeachment. Behind these events lies an upper middle income country that is still tackling basic development challenges from human rights to deforestation. João Gomes Cravinho, the European Union Ambassador to Brazil, explains how the delegation addresses these issues in a country where the traditional aid donor relationship no longer applies.
Herman Portocarero became the EU's first fully-fledged ambassador to Cuba in July 2012. In Havana he oversees development cooperation as well as political, trade and investment links. He spoke to Capacity4dev shortly before the EU and Cuba signed a Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, a new legal framework which aims to support the transition process of the Cuban economy and society. 
In a new book entitled “Reducing Inequalities: A Sustainable Development Challenge”, presented at the EuropeAid InfoPoint on 28 May 2013, scholars and development specialists argue that bridging the gap between the rich and the poor is a factor of development, and therefore a crucial question to tackle when setting up development policies and the post Millenium Development Goals.