Yusuf reiterates to increase awareness on population issues

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Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Muhammad Yusuf Shaikh Wednesday reiterated the government’s commitment to work in unison to increase people’s awareness about population issues with focus on family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health, and human rights. Addressing a seminar on the occasion of World Population Day 2018, the minister appreciated the efforts of the provincial governments and reaffirmed that the federal government would fulfill its international commitments.
While expressing serious concern over the rapid population growth in Pakistan, he stressed that the country could not reap up the benefits of population dividend and capitalize upon the youth bulge without an extraordinary action.
He indicated that the Pakistan Commission on Population was being reactivated with revised composition and Terms of Reference as contained in the National Population Policy 2017.
He said that the Federal Government was in the process of setting up a special fund for population Initiatives with an allocation of Rs 5 billion.
He recommended that a dialogue be initiated on developing national consensus on freezing the population factor on the basis of Census 2017, in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and in determining political constituencies, in the provincial and federal governments. Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world with 208 million people and a population growth rate of 2.4% per year.
The rising population numbers are likely to outstrip developmental gains, and continue to adversely 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.—APP

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