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People are solution, not problem to population issues – UNFPA

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), people are the solution and not the problem to population issues.

Natalia Kanem
Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the UNFPA

Dr Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA, said this in a statement on Monday, July 11, 2022, on the occasion of World Population Day in Abuja.

Kanem, who urged each country to meet the desires of its population, said ensuring people met their full potential was imperative.

“People are the solution, not the problem. At UNFPA, we advocate for measuring and anticipating demographic changes.

“Each country should have the information it requires to meet the needs of diverse population groups and ensure that individuals can realize their full potentials,” she said.

The UNFPA Executive Director explained: “When people have the power to make informed choices about whether and when to have children.”

According to her, when they can exercise their rights and responsibilities, they can navigate risks and become the foundation of more inclusive, adaptable and sustainable societies.

She said: “Numbers matter, but let’s count carefully.

“A resilient world of eight billion, a world that upholds individual rights and choices, offers infinite possibilities – possibilities for people, societies and our shared planet to thrive and prosper.”

The UNFPA boss said achieving this demographic resilience would start with a commitment to counting not just numbers of people but also opportunities for progress.

She called for transformation aimed at breaking discriminatory norms that hold individuals and societies back.

Kanem, however, reiterated the need for education and other factors necessary for achieving Demographic resilience.

“It leads us to economies that work for all people instead of just a few, and to a fair use of resources so that we can mitigate risks and meet the needs of current and future generations.

“World Population Day offers a moment to celebrate human progress.”

She affirmed unity and oneness of the world despite the brazen challenges confronting its unity and progress.

“Our world, despite its challenges, is one where higher shares of people are educated and live healthier lives than at any previous point in history.”

Kanem said that societies that invest in their people, in their rights and choices, have proven to be on the road to prosperity and peace that everyone had wanted and deserved.

“Let’s keep this fact in mind when, in the next few months, the total number of people in the world tops 8 billion.

“This milestone will attract much attention and debate, and likely scaremongering over ‘too many’ people. That would be a mistake.”

Kanem explained that Focusing only on population numbers and growth rates often lead to coercive and counterproductive measures and the erosion of human rights.

She identified acts as preventing women from making decisions over their reproductive rights as capable of eroding progress made.

“For example, to women being pressured to have children or prevented from doing so.

“It can deepen already acute inequalities, such as through policies shutting down reproductive health care or denying adequate pensions for the elderly, further marginalising the most disenfranchised.”

The theme for the 2022 World Population Day is “A World of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all – Harnessing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All.”

By Ikenna Osuoha

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