Poverty, Population and Development

Khadija, born to Moroccan migrants in the Netherlands, balances her parents’ traditions with the Dutch lifestyle. She is part of a generation of young Muslims who are trying to find a way of being Muslim without turning their backs on the Western world where they grew up; a generation in which girls have acquired new social roles, and opportunities that their mothers never had. UNFPA told the stories of 10 young people touched by migration in Moving Young, the first State of World Population Youth Supplement, adding the voices of youth—and their needs and rights—to the discussion on international migration.

Population dynamics infl uence every aspect of human, social and economic development. The core areas of UNFPA’s work, namely, reproductive health and rights and women’s empowerment, powerfully infl uence population trends. Data analysis is central to global goals to end poverty and achieve sustainable development.

In 2006, UNFPA and the World Bank developed a country-based framework linking population, reproductive health and gender with poverty, to become operational in 2007. The Fund also focused on tracking and monitoring HIV/AIDS, and collecting and using gender-disaggregated data in national policies and programmes. UNFPA’s work in population and development supports the Paris Declaration on Harmonization and Alignment, which reinforces the need for easily available, appropriate and functional data in order to better deliver results-oriented and accountable humanitarian aid.

Calling on World Leaders to Protect
the Human Rights of Female Migrants

International migration was high on the global agenda in 2006, beginning with the meeting of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development in April and continuing through the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development in September. With international and national partners, UNFPA advocated the orderly fl ow of migration, with a view towards maximizing its benefi ts and minimizing its negative consequences to countries of origin, countries of destination, and to the migrants themselves. UNFPA also advocated the need to value the contributions and human rights of migrants, especially women migrants, who are more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Providing Population Data for Use in Policies and Programmes

A sound foundation for development planning begins with accurate information—much as accurate medical treatment depends on a correct diagnosis. Reliable data disaggregated by age and sex represent a powerful tool for building stronger policies and programmes. UNFPA assists countries in using data to reduce poverty and enhance national efforts to achieve the MDGs. In 2006:

A young couple from Viet Nam, where one-third of the population consists of young people under the age of 24.

Collecting Accurate Demographic Data for Better Planning

While preparing a population census, UNFPA strengthens national capacity in cartography, country data collection, processing, data analysis and dissemination. Baseline information for development planning and policymaking is about more than numbers: It ensures that basic country needs are met. In 2006:

The unique challenges facing young people were the focus of the 2006 World Population Day, on 11 July. Countries around the world observed the day by proposing measures to include young people in decisions that keep them safe and healthy. Azerbaijan celebrated the day with a photography exhibition and a concert featuring young musicians. The Burundi Scout Association focused on activities to improve the health of young people, including out-of-school youth and former soldiers. In Cambodia, UNFPA and partners produced TV and radio spots on young people and migration. In Haiti, activities included poetry and musical contests. In Kyrgyzstan, young members of the Y-Peer network organized a six-day summer camp, while activities in the Philippines included youth forums, community caravans, a film festival, exhibits and concerts. And in Somalia, UNFPA sponsored a football match entitled “The World Population Cup�.

Meeting the Needs of an Ageing Population

Older persons are the fastest-growing population group, and among the poorest—with women representing the majority of them. Among the issues facing an ageing population are inadequate living conditions, lack of access to health care and social protection, and intergenerational violence and abuse. UNFPA supports the training of policymakers and programme planners to respond to the challenges posed by the consequences of population ageing and to meet the needs of older persons. It also provides policy, advocacy and technical support to ensure that population ageing is recognized as an important development factor, and that older persons are included in policy discussions. In 2006:


Poverty, Population and Development