As the world marks the World Population Day, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today underlined the US commitment to support effective and sustainable family planning programs.
In her remarks at DC today, Ms. Clinton reports that during this current fiscal year the U.S. contributed over $640 million through USAID for bilateral family planning and reproductive health programs, and $35 million to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the largest multilateral provider of life-saving family planning and reproductive health information and services.
She says the partnership between the U.S. government and UNFPA is critical to advancing sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for women, men, adolescents and youth around the world.
For over 40 years the U.S. government, through the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been committed to supporting effective and sustainable family planning programs.
Ms. Clinton also highlighted that reproductive rights are among the most basic of human rights.
But too often, in too many places, these rights are denied, she pointed out.
She cites that millions of women and young people in developing countries don’t have access to information to plan their family.
Most don’t have health services and modern methods of contraception, she added.
She stresses this is not only a violation of their right to decide the number, timing, and spacing of their children, it’s also a question of equity as women everywhere should have the same ability to determine this fundamental part of their lives.
“Voluntary family planning programs represent more than just an investment in health and human rights.” -Ms. Clinton
She underlines that family planning is one of the most successful development interventions and one of the strongest and most cost-effective investments available.
It reduces poverty, and it allows governments to invest in infrastructure, schooling, and healthcare, she stressed.
Ms. Clinton emphasizes that the international community must continue to build on this solid foundation and advance solidarity within the international community for the right of women and young people to make decisions about their own bodies.
“Our efforts are critical to improving the status of women and upholding these basic human rights around the world.” -Ms. Clinton
July 11 is World Population Day, an annual observance to educate the public about the problems of overpopulation and continuing population growth. The event grew out of the public interest in Five Billion Day in 1987 when the global population reached five billion people. A quarter century later, world population now exceeds 7 billion and is growing by 80 million per year.
In October 2011, top United Nations officials marked the global population reaching 7 billion with a call to action to world leaders to meet the challenges that a growing population poses and also welcomed baby 7 billion.
The world’s population reached 6 billion in 1998, only 13 years ago, and it is expected to grow to 9 billion by the middle of this century, or even a few years earlier – by 2043.