|[Published: Wednesday July 08 2009]
WORLD POPULATION DAY
Investment in women is key to address crisis, UN and World Bank
New York, 08 July – (ANA) – The economic crisis could lead to increases
in infant and maternal deaths, the number of girls dropping out of
school, and violence against women and girls, according to the World
The crisis is also pushing more families into extreme poverty and
forcing countries to spend less on public health information and
services. It could reverse progress in women's empowerment and in
meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
“Our work for the women of the world must continue undiminished. When
you empower a woman, you empower a family. When you empower a woman,
you change the world," said United Nations Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon in a statement that cost cutting resulting from the global
economic crisis has affected everyone. Indeed, several studies show
that while the full scale of the global economic crisis is not yet
known, women and children in the developing world will bear the brunt
of the impact.
That is why countries and communities around the world are observing
the July 11 World Population Day over the next few weeks with the
theme, "Responding to the Economic Crisis: Investing in Women is a
Meanwhile, new preliminary World Bank figures show that while official
global development aid for health soared from $2.9 billion in 1995 to
$14.1 billion in 2007,20roughly a five-fold increase in 12 years, aid
for population and reproductive health rose much more modestly during
the same period, from $901 million in 1995 to $1.9 billion in 2007,
bringing the support for population and reproductive health programmes
as a percentage of overall health aid from about 30 percent in 1994 to
12 percent in 2008, the report said.
Worldwide, an estimated 200 million women would like to delay or
prevent a pregnancy but are not using effective contraception. In the
poorest countries, fewer than one in ten women are using such methods.
Meanwhile, demand for contraceptives is expected to grow by 40 percent
in the next 15 years.
"I do not think that any of the crises we are facing today-whether it
is the food crisis, the water crisis, the financial crisis or the
crisis of climate change, can be managed unless greater attention is
paid to population issues," said UNFPA executive director Thoraya Ahmed
Obaid. She called for stronger action to implement the Programme of
Action that was adopted in 1994 at the International Conference on
Population and Development.
"Now more than ever, in these times of global economic crisis, I call
on decision-makers to increase resources for reproductive health,
including family planning, so we can make greater progress for women
and families," Obaid said. "There is no smarter investment, with such
high economic and social returns, than investing in the health and
0Arights of adolescent girls and women", she added. (ANA)
SL/ANA/ 08 July 2009---