Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world with 208 mil-lion people and a population growth rate of 2.4% per year. The rising population numbers are likely to outstrip developmental gains, and continue to ad-versely affect the economy, environment, health, education and quality of the lives of all citizens.
The theme for this year’s World Population Day — ‘Family Planning as a Human Right’— is apt for Pakistan at this crucial moment in time. The theme is in line with the 50th anniversary of the 1968 In-ternational Conference on Human Rights, where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right. This right-based ap-proach strives to empower every couple to their entitlement to decide on the size of their family, ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted.
Echoing this message, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination, to-gether with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), jointly organized a national event to commemorate World Population Day and the 50th anniversary since family planning was declared a human right. Capt. (Retd.) Zahid Saeed, Federal of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regula-tions, and Coordination, while welcoming the guests, said that Pakistan’s population is growing at an alarming rate of 2.4% per annum. Population is a cross-cutting issue. It has its implications on all spheres of life. He stressed that all implementing partners and stakeholders would have to make con-certed efforts for population stabilization in Paki-stan.
Mr. Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh, Federal Minister of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordina-tion, expressing serious concern over the rapid population growth in Pakistan.