World Population Day


Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations

Access to safe, voluntary family planning is a human right. Family planning is a key factor in reducing poverty. It is central to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

In East and Southern Africa, there has been significant progress in national family planning programmes in the past few decades, but serious challenges remain. Despite a decrease in fertility rates in countries in the region, they remain at a relatively high average of 4.8 children per woman of reproductive age.

Unmet need for family planning is also the highest, at 25 per cent, representing 49 million women who either use traditional family planning methods or no method at all yet wish to avoid pregnancy.

Individuals and couples have the right to decide the number of children they want and to choose the spacing of births. To achieve this, everybody should be able to access and use affordable, quality reproductive health supplies of their choice, whenever they need them.

In 1989, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that 11 July be observed by the international community as World Population Day to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled. Addressing these topics is essential to addressing the needs of the world’s growing population and the impact this growth will have on development.