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  1. 1

    Population, environment, development: an inseparable troika.

    Wahren C

    POPULI. 1991 Mar; 18(1):4-23.

    As unchecked population growth threatens to increase ecological destruction and poverty, the world seems to have finally acknowledged the need for population programs. Previous development plans for the 3rd World omitted the population factor, but it has now become evident that this unprecedented growth stands in the way of progress. The current world population of 5.3 billion is expected to increase to 6 billion by the year 2000, 95% of the growth occurring in developing nations. UN projects that the world's population will stabilize at 10 billion in the next century, but only if by the year 2035 women worldwide bear an average of 2 children each. Africa and west Asia have the highest annual population growth rates (2.9 and 2.8, respectively), followed by Latin America and southern Asia (2.2%), both of which have begun to move towards reducing fertility. This massive swelling of population places increased pressures on the environment, food availability, and water supplies. Africa's impressive gains in agricultural production have all but been nullified by population growth. During the 1974 World Population Conference in Bucharest, countries recognized the dangers, and since then, much progress has been made. And during the 1984 International Conference on Population held in Mexico City, countries agreed that development and family planning must go hand-in-hand. Many countries (Barbados, China, Cuba, etc.) have had highly successful family planning programs. Studies indicate that 30-50% of the drop in fertility in the Third World can be attributed to family planning. And these successful programs reflect the commitment to social programs, including education, health, and women's status. Still, there are some 300 million couples worldwide who wish to limit fertility but have no access to contraception. Despite the dangers of unchecked population, family planning efforts must respect human rights concerning procreation.
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  2. 2

    Syrian Arab Republic.

    Al-Assad H

    In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 152.

    Despite Syria's high rate of population increase, the implementation of certain socioeconomic policies will lead to a reduction of the rate of growth. During 1960-70, the growth rate stood at 32.8/1000, increasing to 33.5/1000 during 1970-81, a product of the country's young age structure and stable -- but high -- fertility rate. The country has also experienced a drop in the mortality rate, from 15/1000 during the 1960s to 8.2/1000 during the 1970s. Should these figures remain unchanged, Syria's population will double by the beginning of the next century. Nonetheless, the high population growth rate and rural-urban migration has stimulated socioeconomic improvements within an already existing development framework designed to meet the needs of population increase, to improve income levels and income distribution. These improvements can be seen in Syria's per capita GNP growth, which more than doubled between 1970-1982. The government has also adopted measures to improve health, education, cultural, and housing conditions, and has sought to create a more balanced economy. These socioeconomic policies and others -- including women's education -- will ultimately reduce population growth.
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  3. 3

    [Statement by Rene Fernandez-Araoz, Vice-Minister of coordination of the Ministry of Planning, Bolivia] Discurso pronunciado por S.E. el Lic. Rene Fernandez-Araoz, Vice-Ministro de Planeamiento de la Republica de Bolivia, en la Conferencia Internacional de Poblacion..

    Bolivia. Ministerio de Planeamiento

    [Unpublished] 1984. Presented at the International Conference on Population held in Mexico City, August 6-13, 1984. 7 p.

    Latin America faces a series of problems and hurdles which condition the way in which the issue of population/development is approached. The most obvious problems are the required changes in the socioeconomic and political structures; the state of the social sciences in the population field; the fragmentation of efforts among scientists, academicians, technicians and politicians dealing with this area; and the lack of legitimacy accorded to this topic. The chief hurdle facing most countries in the region and Bolivia in particular, is that of wide social differences. This disparity will worsen unless profound social changes are carried out. Bolivia has spent 3 yeras developing a consistent population policy within a development framework. This country offers a peculiar demographic situation: while the average fertility rate is 6.5 children/woman, this is offset by a high infant mortality rate (213/1000 children between the ages of 0 and 2), and a net population loss from out-migration. Bolivia is therefore underpopulated at the same time that the poorest women have a high fertility rate. The country's population policy thus seeks to act not only on the key demographic variables, but also on those social and economic variables which determine its poverty and underdevelopment. To this end, a National Population Council is being established with the assistance of the UN Fund for Population Activities and other entities. The speaker regrets the imposition of conditions on the funds granted by the UNFPA. These restrictions fall primarily on the poor and less-developed countries.
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