11 July 2017, Dhaka, Bangladesh:
“The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man” – Thomas Malthus
PPD celebrates world population day as an international awareness campaign day to call upon people on stage to know the reason of exploding population year by year as well as to draw the attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.
It is evident that the rising population has also led to issues like poverty, shortage of food and pollution. Since the official starting of PPD in 1994, demographic trends is more diverse, ageing as well as youth bulge is simultaneous challenge where enhanced investment is required particularly in developing countries. Urbanization, mobility, displacement is also common threats across developing countries. Another burning challenge is, despite legal age of marriage of 18, 34% of women were married below 18 years, in developing regions (12% below age 15)
On the other hand, world is encountering dramatic shifts in global health burden towards non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries, along with population aging. The health challenge of developing countries coincides with persistent communicable, maternal, nutritional and neonatal disorders leading to “double health burden”
Theme of the year 2017:
Each year the day is observed on a theme, each theme focuses on an issue with the global population and working towards the solution to this issue.
This year’s theme “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations” calls for action to address the family planning issues which is an integrated part of empowering people and nation building. Access to safe family planning is a human right. It is evidence that family planning is a key factor to reduce poverty. It is also a central of development to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment. The World Population Day is particularly significant for PPD, as addressing population issues are the core mandate; PPD represents approximately 60% of the world population.
Demographic transition is still under way in PPD member countries and countries are in different phases of population transition. The overall feature of the population of the member countries are young concentrated, most of the countries are investing their worth and intellect for reaping population dividend. The average median age of the population of member countries is 24.5. The decline of growth happening in each and every member country, though the decline is not identical, in 1970 the average TFR was 6.5 and in 2015 it reduced in 3.3 which is 1 more than world average. Average CPR is also very low and the unmet need is still high across the member countries in comparison to world standing.
PPD’s Key advocacy issue:
Family Planning and fertility decline:
Fertility decline is the significant feature of the PPD member countries though the decline didn’t happen in the same pace in all the countries, in Africa it showed slower decline. It has been revealed that, the most successful countries in terms of fertility decline, was directed by strong FP program operating in a positive social, political and cultural environment. Consequently positive changes have been reported in the decline of child and maternal. Noticeable Success has been reported in female education, wider participation of women in labour market which is also identified as the outgrowth of fertility decline.
CPR and Unmet need: Furthermore, women in developing countries in a large percentage from 10 to 40 percent want to space or limit childbearing but are not using contraception. The Unmet need has been reported high and the CPR is still low where concentration and commitment is required from the highest political level. Need of contraception are still major concerns in PPD member countries. An effective family planning programs offers a range of contraceptive choices to couples and as an immediate result a sharp increases in the use of contraceptives happens where the response of all the member countries are not equal.
PPD member countries are in the worth of younger crowd. The average median age of PPD member countries indicate the greatest demographic opportunity for development, now it is important to ensure good health, quality education and decent employment for these young population . It should be counted carefully that, smaller numbers of children per household generally lead to larger investments per child, more freedom for women more household savings for old age. When this happens, the national economic payoff can be substantial.
However, a “demographic dividend” does not auto-matically occur in every country and a little is gained if the growth of the employable population simply leads to a rise in the number of unemployed at working age. Demographic change thus creates opportunities, but they must be seized by the PPD member countries.
It is evident that, the success of family planning programs has not been uniform in all countries under PPD umbrella. It has depended on several factors, including strong political support, well-designed and implemented programs, the availability of quality services and a wide range of methods, flexibility and responsiveness in adapting to local conditions, and adequate funding sources. There are success stories on all continents and in all cultural settings. South-South platform offered by PPD would like to share the good part of the program as well as offer the opportunity of the member countries discuss and share the ideas and innovations towards design and operate successful programs, even in what would appear to be unfavorable social and cultural environments.
Though, there is no specific population goals presented as sustainable development goals, the SDGs position population related issues in a more integrated manner than was the case for the MDGs. According to WHO (HEALTH IN 2015: FROM MDGs TO SDGs), major population trends (morbidity, mortality and migration) impact health. Fertility rates have fallen substantially almost everywhere, but still remains high in the most of the PPD member countries. The population aged 60 and over will increase by 50% in the SDG era.
The commonalities of both ICPD & 2030 Agendas are both identifies “sustainable development” as their end goal and those agendas are people centered and human rights-based. Global shared goal of Sustainable agenda are interlinked and interdependent. The use of data for planning and implementation and integration of population dynamics data into development planning is crucial.
PPD today represents 58% of the world’s population. Representing close to 4 billion people, it is specifically in the areas of infant and child mortality reduction that PPD has demonstrated how its member countries’ performance has been better than the non-PPD member countries. In the past 20 years maternal deaths have reduced from eight million to four million, a fifty percent drop both in MMR and in absolute numbers. Child deaths have also reduced by a similar proportion. Strong trajectories of population dividend evident in most PPD countries indicate positive gains as a result of strategic programming and partnerships.
The scope of the South-South Cooperation in the context of post-2014 ICPD program of action and SDGs beyond 2015 is vital to the attainment of the global Family Planning commitments. Hinging on this pivot, South-South Cooperation in conjunction with SDG 17 on global partnership is the key ingredient for delivering tangible regional and national actions for the attainment of ICPD goals and SDGs.
PPD would like to appeal to the global community, development partners, bilateral agencies and the UN General Assembly to ensure and continue their support and commitment towards promoting South-South Cooperation for Population and Development. Any failure to do so will be a betrayal of the interest of the most vulnerable women and children from the Global South.