Press Release: Investing in Family Planning is Key for World at 7 Billion

Posted on October, 28 2011 by Action Canada

Launch of UNFPA State of the World Population Report 2011: People and Possibilities in a World of 7 Billion

In five days, the world’s population is projected to reach 7 billion. How we respond now will determine whether we have a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future or one that is marked by inequalities, environmental decline and economic setbacks, according to The State of World Population 2011 report, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

Launching the report at a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa today, UNFPA representative Alanna Armitage told reporters that this population milestone of 7 billion is a “call to action”. Over 215 million women and girls worldwide want to use modern methods of contraceptives in order to space or limit their families but have no access to these services for reasons of gender inequality, cost, geography, age and/or insufficient health infrastructure and resources. “And yet development assistance for family planning has declined and is lower than it was in the mid 1990s. There are millions of adolescent girls and boys in the developing world who have insufficient access to sexuality education and to information about how to prevent pregnancies or protect themselves from HIV. Enabling individuals to have the power to make their own reproductive decisions remain the best guide for the future” said Ms. Armitage.

Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) congratulated the Canadian Government for its ongoing support of UNFPA’s work and for its recent decision to fund the International Planned Parenthood Federation to provide contraceptive services and sexuality education in developing countries but noted that Canada needs to do much more. Mr. Prasad said “Canada has committed significant funds to accelerating progress on women’s health through the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH); however, only about 1.7% of the funds that have been announced so far are directed towards family planning services and supplies.

The evidence from UNFPA’s report tells us that Canada needs to be investing much more in contraceptive services, information and supplies if we are to fulfill our promises to reduce poverty and hunger in a world of 7 billion”. In her concluding remarks, Ms. Armitage reiterated that a large world population has challenges but also opportunities. “Charting a path now to sustainable economic and social development that promotes equality, rather than exacerbates or reinforces inequalities, is more important than ever.”


NOTES FOR EDITORS:

Copies of the report and high-resolution print-ready graphics from the report and high-resolution B-rolls of accompanying short videos are available through; http://www.unfpa.org/public/op/preview/home/sitemap/swp2011 The user name is: unfpa password: swp2011

Journalists are also welcome to attend the public launch of the report at 6pm on Wednesday October 26, 131 Queen Street – registration is required for journalists not accredited to Parliament.