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    026644

    Population growth and economic and social development.

    Clausen AW

    Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1984. 36 p. (International Conference on Population, 1984; Statements)

    In his address to national leaders in Nairobi, Kenya, Clausen expresses his views on population growth and development. Rapid population growth slows development in the developing countries. There is a strong link between population growth rates and the rate of economic and social development. The World Bank is determined to support the struggle against poverty in developing countries. Population growth will mean lower living standards for hundreds of millions of people. Proposals for reducing population growth raise difficult questions about the proper domain of public policy. Clausen presents a historical overview of population growth in the past 2 decades, and discusses the problem of imbalance between natural resources and people, and the effect on the labor force. Rapid population growth creates urban economic and social problems that may be unmanageable. National policy is a means to combat overwhelmingly high fertility, since governments have a duty to society as a whole, both today's generation and future ones. Peoples may be having more children than they actually want because of lack of information or access to fertility control methods. Family planning is a health measure that can significantly reduce infant mortality. A combination of social development and family planning is needed to teduce fertility. Clausen briefly reviews the effect of economic and technological changes on population growth, focusing on how the Bank can support an effective combination of economic and social development with extending and improving family planning and health services. The World Bank offers its support to combat rapid population growth by helping improve understanding through its economic and sector work and through policy dialogue with member countries; by supporting developing strategies that naturally buiild demand for smaller families, especially by improving opportunities in education and income generation; and by helping supply safe, effective and affordable family planning and other basic health services focused on the poor in both urban and rural areas. In the next few years, the Bank intends at least to double its population and related health lending as part of a major effort involving donors and developing countries with a primay focus on Africa and Asia. An effective policy requires the participation of many ministeries and clear direction and support from the highest government levels.
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