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Population Growth

Volume 704: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they are taking to encourage a restriction on population growth in the world. [HL5705]

Rapid population growth is making it harder for some countries to achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs) and escape poverty. It is estimated that 99 per cent of this growth will take place in developing countries, particularly in those countries where poverty is most extreme. Experience shows that a range of activities combine to give people choices. These include; improving health, education and livelihoods; promoting gender equality and the rights of women; and ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health information, services and supplies. Evidence shows that when people are free to choose when and how often to have children, they tend to have smaller families.

The Department for International Development (DfID) is providing £100 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) over the five year period to 2013 to increase access to reproductive health commodities, including male and female condoms. DfID is also supporting the supply of contraceptives directly with several developing countries, including, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Cambodia.