The United Nations observes World Population Day every July 11. Created in 1989, the United Nations uses the day to encourage all citizens to focus on issues of a rapidly expanding human presence on the Earth.
What is the subject of the 2012 World Population Day?
The theme of this year's World Population Day is "universal access to reproductive health services." The ultimate goal of the United Nations Population Fund is to bring reproductive health care options to all men and women by 2015 as stated in the Millennium Development Goals.
Why is July 11 World Population Day?
The educational website Global Dimension states the reason July 11 was chosen is because that was the day in 1987 that the world's population reached five billion people. Since then, two billion more humans have been added to the planet. By comparison, there was an estimated population of one billion in 1810.
What major event marks World Population Day?
The London Summit on Family Planning in Great Britain will be held Wednesday. The goal of the conference is to discuss practical measures to bring an extra 120 million women access to family planning resources by 2020 . The United Kingdom and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are hosting the initiative.
What kind of statistics show there is a need for family planning resources?
The U.N. estimates nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving life, either during pregnancy or while giving birth. The international body also states around 222 million women lack adequate access to reproductive health care. An estimated 75 million pregnancies are unintended every year. With more contraceptives and education in place by 2020, around 200,000 fewer women would die each year and three million babies would survive past their first year of life.
Around 1.8 billion young people enter child bearing years without proper knowledge to protect themselves. To these ends, the the U.N. Population Fund estimates it needs an additional $4.1 billion annually to bring modern contraceptive needs to every developing country. Each dollar spent on reproductive health services saves $6 on health, housing, water and other resources later.
How has the United States responded to World Population Day?
Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked half the world's population is younger than 25. Clinton said "we must redouble our efforts for the health and well-being of women and families around the world." She went on to say the U.S. is committed to working towards those ends.
William Browning is a research librarian.