Experts urge African gov'ts to prioritize family planning to reduce crises

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-19 16:02:41|Editor: Shi Yinglun
Video PlayerClose

ENTEBBE, Uganda, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Governments of African countries should prioritize family planning to help reduce political crises, experts have said on the sidelines of the 8th African Population Conference (APC) being held here 40km south of the Ugandan capital of Kampala.

High population growth, together with high unemployment rate, is part of the cause of political crises which end up derailing development, they said.

"We know high population growth drives fragility. High population growth is a key driver of insecurity and instability. Unfortunately we continue to have little attention paid to such a vital public investment. Efforts are more to military response to crisis," said Mabingue Ngom, regional director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for West and Central Africa.

"We tend to respond to crisis than preventing crisis. Imagine if the world leaders, international community put more emphasis (on), more investment in family planning, they will very likely address high population growth and related consequences in terms of security, stability, peace and development," Ngom said.

He said family planning can help cut maternal mortality by a third, and if girls are kept in school and women empowered, their livelihoods would be improved.

"We find that if (the) UNFPA is not present, nobody is paying attention to family planning, gender-based violence, and these are major challenges in humanitarian areas," said Rachel Snow, chief of UNFPA's Population and Development Branch.

The 8th APC, themed "Harnessing Africa's Population Dynamics for Sustainable Development: 25 Years After Cairo And Beyond," will run until Friday. The event is organized every four years and the last one was held in 2015 in the South African city of Pretoria.