The UN World Population Day seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population in our world.
We are in a world of 7.5 billion people. Sometimes it seems as if we are a world of egos each focused on our individual needs. Deep down we know that we are connected and the winning strategy is to work together and to lift each other.
Of the 7.5 billion people in the world, ~1 Billion live in extreme poverty with an income of less than $2 per day per person. For many of the people in poverty, the problems are compounded by rapid population growth and vulnerability to climate change.
In 2019, the Nairobi Summit on population took place in Kenya. World leaders and community members from 163 United Nations countries reflected on the agreements made in the 1994 landmark population conference, and agreed that greater urgency is needed – we need to “Accelerate the Promise.” They created the Nairobi Statement and the Nairobi Commitments – five themes and 12 global commitments to achieve the goal of “three zeroes” – zero preventable maternal death, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence or harmful practices.
Studies show there is a close relationship between population, development, and individual-well being.
In the book, Factfulness, by Hans Rosling, we learn that in 1800 the average number of children per woman was almost 6. By 1965 it was 5 children per woman and in 2017 it was 2.5 children. What accounts for this dramatic change? There were many changes around the world between 1800 and 2017 which raised the standard of living for billions of people. The results: “As billions of people left extreme poverty, most of them decided to have fewer children. They no longer needed large families for child labor on the small family farm. And they no longer needed extra children as insurance against child mortality. Women and men got educated and started to want better-educated and better-fed children: and having fewer of them was an obvious solution. “ Page 84-85. What is amazing is that this trend happens in all countries around the world. Therefore, we have clarity that moving out of poverty enables families to be healthier, better educated, and increase individual opportunities and well-being. So while we have made progress there is much to be done. And we know that reaching the three zero goals and lifting people out of poverty is key.
On this World Population Day, let’s take time today to reflect on our connected humanity. Every person you help is important.
What does the world population mean to you?
What is your role in humanity?
How can you make a difference?
We look forward to your thoughts on how to help some of the most vulnerable people in our world. Please leave us a comment below.