UK committed to support Pakistan’s plan to manage population growth

Islamabad: To mark World Population Day 2019, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, the British High Commission and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized ahigh-level event in Islamabad.

The UK – through its Department for International Development – leads the UK’s global efforts to control population growth rate, extreme poverty and malnutrition. Through its Delivering Accelerated Family Planning Programme, DFID is making family planning information and services accessible to those in need in

Pakistan. Since 2012, the UK support has reached over 1.7 million new family planning users and prevented 4,900 maternal deaths, over 3.49 million unwanted pregnancies, and 490,000 abortions. By March 2022, our

programme aims to achieve 550,000 modern contraception users.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Head of DFID Pakistan Kemi Williams said: “Rapid population growth is a

major challenge for many countries across the world, including Pakistan and the situation is likely to get

worse if urgent action is not taken. The UK is committed to support Pakistan’s plans to manage its population growth.

“DFID Pakistan, through its Delivering Accelerated Family Planning programme is making family planning services accessible to men and women across the country.

“I believe that every woman should have access to family planning services so that she is empowered to plan her life, be healthy, have healthy children and contribute to the economic growth of Pakistan.”

Dr. Zafar Mirza, Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, said:

“Population is a great asset, but at the same time if we don’t utilize its potential properly, it can become a

liability.”Sharing her remarks, Lina Mousa, UNFPA Representative said: “Pakistan has some of the greatest

demographic opportunities for development in the world as a growing youth population enters adulthood. The

demographic dividend can only be achieved with adequate investments in the education and skills of youth, harvesting the fruits of long-term human capital development.

To open the window of opportunity for the demographic dividend, Pakistan needs to reduce fertility and invest in the growing youth “bulge” entering the labour force.”

The event was attended by high ranking officials of the government, UNFPA, representatives of the United

Nations and other national and international organisations. Members of civil society and representatives from media organisations were also in attendance.