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UNFPA Global Population Policy Update
New Population Projections Underline Urgency of Family Planning Needs of Couples in Developing Nations
ISSUE 69 - 06 March 2007
The world's population is estimated to reach 9.2 billion people by 2050, the newly released 2006 Revision of the official United Nations population projections has indicated.
According to the 2006 Revision released by the United Nations Population Division this week, the world's population will likely increase by 2.5 billion over the next 43 years, from the 6.7 billion today. However, these projections, according to the report, are contingent on the continuing fertility decline in developing countries. If fertility does not continue to decline and becomes stable at the current rates, the world will add about 5 billion people, increasing world population to almost 12 billion by 2050.
Below is a press release by UNFPA highlighting the urgent need to provide individuals and couples with effective means of family planning to exercise their basic human right to freely determine the size of their families. International funding for family planning decreased considerably in absolute dollar amounts from 1995 to 2004 (US $ 723 million- US $ 441. 1 million) and from 55 per cent of total population assistance to only 9 per cent during the same period.
NEW POPULATION PROJECTIONS UNDERLINE URGENCY OF FAMILY PLANNING NEEDS OF COUPLES IN DEVELOPING NATIONS
Access Could Decide If World Adds 2.5 Billion or 5 Billion People by 2050, New Report Says
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 13 March 2007 - New world population projections for the year 2050 by the United Nations are yet another wake-up call to the urgency of giving couples the means to exercise their human right to freely determine the sizes of their families, said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision - highlights of which were released today by the Population Division of the United Nations - projects world population to rise by 2.5 billion people from today's 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050. This, according to the report, assumes that fertility will continue falling in developing countries. If it stays at current rates, the world will add about 5 billion people, nearing 12 billion by 2050, with the less developed nations' population increasing to 10.6 billion, instead of 7.9 billion.
"Currently, about 200 million women in these countries lack access to safe and effective contraceptive services," said Ms. Obaid. "Funding for family planning must be increased to meet the needs of these women, not only to determine the world's future, but also to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce maternal and infant death."
"The projections should remind leaders of their 2005 World Summit commitment to provide universal access to reproductive health by 2015, including family planning, to free women from unintended childbearing and empower them to help reduce poverty,"said Ms. Obaid. "We must work together to expand access to comprehensive reproductive health services, such as skilled attendance at birth, emergency obstetric care and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS."
World Population Prospects also makes projections on population ageing and other trends that are mostly prevalent in developed countries.
"Population ageing is a twentieth-century phenomenon resulting partly from improvements in life expectancy," continued Ms. Obaid. "It also coincides with history's largest-ever cohort of young people. The challenge is to meet the needs of older persons while at the same time meeting the urgent needs of the young, especially in developing countries."
"Rich nations concerned with too-low fertility should emulate neighbours that have successfully introduced family-friendly policies to make careers and parenthood more compatible," she added. The policies include flexible work schedules, paid parental leave, and the provision of day-care services, as recommended by the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. "They should create an environment that makes it easier for men and women to combine parenthood and careers. No one should be forced to choose one or the other."
For further information on the 2006 Revisions, visit:
All previous issues of the UNFPA Global Population Policy Update can now be found on UNFPA's website at: http://www.unfpa.org/parliamentarians/news/newsletters.htm .
This newsletter is issued by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in its capacity as secretariat for the biennial International Parliamentarians' Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI/ICPD). The first IPCI/ICPD was held in November 2002 in Ottawa, Canada, the second in October 2004 in Strasbourg, France and the third in November 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand. These dispatches are intended to highlight important developments taking place around the world so that parliamentarians can be kept informed of and learn from the successes, setbacks and challenges encountered by their fellow parliamentarians in other countries and regions in their efforts to promote the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (September 1994, Cairo, Egypt). It should be noted that UNFPA does not necessarily endorse all of the policies described in this newsletter.
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