POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT
high fertility, ill-health, gender inequity.
Reproductive health information and services help break
support for reproductive health can reduce poverty.
The kind of information and services that UNFPA supports
make it possible to avoid unwanted pregnancies, prevent
HIV infection, plan and space families, give birth more
safely and participate equally in opportunities for
education, income and decision-making. The result of
universally accessible reproductive health would be
slower population growth, which would ease pressure
on the environment and enable countries to meet the
needs of the poorest and most vulnerable.
least-developed countries have the highest fertility
and population growth, and their populations are expected
to triple in the next 50 years. Half the world's population,
or more than 3 billion people, live on less than $2
a day, and 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day.
And, despite strides towards gender equality since the
mid 1980s, more women still live in poverty than men.
understands that promoting reproductive health and rights
is indispensable for economic growth and poverty reduction.
Lower birth rates and slower population growth over
the last three decades have contributed to faster economic
progress in a number of developing countries. This positive
"population effect" on the economy was due
in large part to investments in health (including reproductive
health) and education, and to increases in opportunities
United Nations Member States pledged in 2000 to meet
a time-bound set of goals to eradicate extreme poverty
and hunger, end AIDS and empower women.Only with attention
to population and reproductive health issues will the
world's people achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
one of these eight goals is of concern to UNFPA, guided
as we are by the Programme of Action of the 1994 International
Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
stronger support, especially from international donors
that have not lived up to their ICPD promises, UNFPA
can respond ever more effectively to requests for
assistance from governments in more than 140 developing
countries and help them achieve these goals for development.
two thirds of UNFPA country offices assisted governments
in national reporting on the Millennium Development
Goals in 2002, ensuring that data on population and
reproductive health are given the attention they deserve.
and population strategies
in the structure, distribution and size of populations
are interlinked with all facets of sustainable development.
UNFPA supports efforts to track these changes and analyse
population trends, helping governments and international
agencies generate the political will to address current
and future needs. In particular, UNFPA promotes a common
set of gender-sensitive population-based indicators
for use in MDG reports and in the United Nations common
country assessments (CCAs) and, through these instruments,
in poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs).
that link population with other development concerns
can answer policy questions. In 2002, an evaluation
of UNFPA efforts to develop national capacity in reproductive
health analysed 10 years of interventions in six countries:
Brazil, Côte d' Ivoire, Egypt, Nepal, Nigeria
and Viet Nam.
good data, effective planning is impossible. In 2002, UNFPA
helped Albania complete fieldwork for its first-ever
survey of reproductive health and family planning.
Pan Arab Project for Family Health completed a survey
of five countries that will be used in a regional
database on family health and reproductive health
in Arab countries. Supported by UNFPA and other partners,
the survey applied standardized tools and methods.
are able to monitor ICPD follow-up by using a new
monitoring system featuring online access to official
data. The system covers eight countries and was set
up by the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health
Network, with UNFPA support. Also in 2002, UNFPA helped
develop an indicator system to support the Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in
its regional ICPD monitoring role.
of a computerized integrated information system in
reproductive health centres was part of UNFPA efforts
to help Azerbaijan implement its poverty-reduction
programme and reform its primary health care system.
December 2002, UNFPA and the Brazilian Institute for
Geography and Statistics published a report on poverty,
Situation of the Brazilian Population: Levels of Inequalities
(2002). UNFPA also joined with NGOs in Brazil to develop
indicators for reproductive health at the municipal
level, holding four workshops in 2002.
data for planning
UNFPA contributes to census-taking worldwide. In 2002,
the Fund assisted both Guatemala and Rwanda with a population
and housing census. In Botswana, UNFPA supported the
analysis and dissemination of results from the 2001
census, with an immediate impact on decisions about
programme expansion and beneficiaries. Comoros launched
a population census, with plans to integrate its results
into updated socio-demographic baseline data, disaggregated
Afghanistan, UNFPA began work with the Central Statistics
Office on the design of a national population and
housing census. The census responds to the urgent
need for up-to-date and reliable information to aid
the reconstruction process. Afghanistan has never
had a complete census of its population.
A survey in post-war Burundi canvassed 7,500 households
in camps for displaced persons, urban centres and
rural areas. UNFPA supported the major demographic
and health survey, which also received European Union
funds, to enhance government decision-making on national
development, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Bhutan, UNFPA helped build national capacity in data
collection and analysis. Training on the upcoming
census was conducted for representatives from all
district administrations, and several officers participated
in an observation study tour to India.
the grand prize winner, Sadat Ahmed Dipro, the
annual UNFPA international poster contest provided
an opportunity to explore the impact of population
and poverty from his own perspective, that of
a six-year-old from Bangladesh. In 2002, young
artists from 73 countries entered the contest,
which has been sponsored by UNFPA since 1992.
Photo: UNFPA Bangladesh
leaders at the World Summit for Sustainable Development
(WSSD), held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August
2002, reaffirmed goals linking poverty eradication and
environmental protection to health, including reproductive
health, and women's empowerment.
support policy recommendations at the WSSD, a panel
of experts launched a scientific assessment of the
role of population in sustainable development. The
report was spearheaded by the International Institute
for Applied Systems Analysis, the International Union
for the Scientific Study of Population and the United
Nations University, with funding from UNFPA.
launched an internal organizational review and a field
inquiry to examine linkages in activities pertaining
to water, population, gender, reproductive health
and poverty. This is part of its contribution to systemwide
approaches to the thematic areas of the WSSD and to
its 10-year review of the ICPD Programme of Action.
between population, poverty and development were highlighted
by UNFPA at the International Conference on Financing
for Development, held in March 2002 in Monterrey,
Mexico. UNFPA called for the mainstreaming of reproductive
health in health sector reforms as part of primary
annual State of World Population report for 2002
addressed the theme "people, poverty and possibilities".
To reduce poverty in developing countries, urgent
action is needed to combat poor reproductive health,
help women avoid unwanted pregnancies, and eliminate
illiteracy and gender discrimination, the report
ageing is an issue with significant demographic
impact, especially in developing countries with
resources too limited to meet the basic needs of
older persons like this elderly woman from Mexico.
In April 2002, UNFPA participated in the Second
World Assembly on Ageing, held in Madrid, Spain,
drawing attention to the basic social and health
needs of older persons in developing countries.
UNFPA also continued to provide technical guidance
and support to the International Institute on Ageing
in Malta, where training was conducted on effective
ways to address the needs of older poor.
the past 13 years, countries around the world have been
observing World Population Day on 11 July to raise public
awareness and draw policy makers' attention to population
issues such as poverty, reproductive health, education
- Rallies, processions
and discussions marked World Population Day 2002 in
Bangladesh, where the President called for greater
awareness of population issues and for a social movement
to ensure the success of the country's family planning
an interview on national television, Afghanistan's
Minister of Women's Affairs, Habiba Sarabi, said the
health of Afghan families and mothers was often adversely
affected by having children too early, too late and
too close together. Officials in Kabul said that literacy
and health care were necessary for the survival and
well-being of Afghan women and their families.