World Population Day July 11th 2012

World Population Day 2012 July 11th

There is a real worry that the rising world population is just not sustainable. The worry does not just cause problems with insufficient water or food supplies but as people live longer and are demanding a bigger slice of the world production cake that insufficient resources will lead to increased conflict.

“On this World Population Day, I call for urgent, concerted action by Member States to bridge the gap between demand and supply for reproductive health care. We must mainstream reproductive health and rights into all development and poverty reduction plans. Investing in universal access to reproductive health is a crucial investment in healthy societies and a more sustainable future.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for World Population Day

2012 Theme: Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services

As the world population edged to 7 billion people in 2011 (up from 2.5 billion in 1950), it has had profound implications for development. A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on sustainability, urbanization, access to health services and youth empowerment. [need to translate]

In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day.

This year’s World Population Day, 11 July 2012, focuses on the theme of “Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services.” Reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. Nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving life. About 1.8 billion young people are entering their reproductive years, often without the knowledge, skills and services they need to protect themselves. On the World Population Day, many activities and campaigns will call attention to the essential part that reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world.

Pregnancy and childbirth are among the highlights of most women’s lives. But these two otherwise momentous events at times end up costing the lives of both mother and child.

This is why maternal and child health remains a top priority for the development community. However, some aspects — such as family planning and reproductive health services — have, in recent years, suffered from a lack of funding.

The U.N. Population Fund, among several U.N. agencies and other major donors, wants to change this. For one, it has chosen to use this year’s World Population Day, July 11, to energize its campaign for universal access to reproductive health services, particularly modern methods of contraception.

A glimpse of what UNFPA and its partners are up against: In 2012 alone, there are 222 million married and unmarried women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years old) in the developing world who want but lack access to modern contraception methods and female sterilization services, IUDs, implants, condoms and pills. Fifty percent of them are in Africa — mostly in sub-Saharan Africa — while 21 percent live in Asia and 25 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to UNFPA.

Providing modern contraceptives and better health services to these women would cost some $3 billion this year, the UNFPA says. This is in addition to the $5.1 billion needed to continue providing contraception methods and reproductive health services to some 645 million women currently using modern contraceptives. The estimates include the cost of supplies as well as labor and logistics needed to distribute them.

11 July 2012


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