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$65 billion needed for population schemes to check poverty in 2010 – UN

$65 billion needed for population schemes to check poverty in 2010 – UN

UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid
Nearly $65 billion worth of investment is required next year for population programmes to combat poverty, promote development and slash maternal death rates, according to the United Nations Commission on Population and Development.

One-third of this sum, or $22 million, will come from international donors, while the rest will be in the form of domestic investments by developing nations.

The $64.7 billion figure for 2010 is an upwards revision of the $20.5 billion that was adopted at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, marking the first time in 15 years that cost estimates have been reviewed.

The revision was critical due to surging growth in needs in the face of soaring health-care costs, according to a report by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

To implement the Programme of Action adopted at the end of the Cairo conference, UN Member States approved the new figures, expressing their concern for family planning funding which is currently far below what is needed.

The five-day meeting of the Commission, which wrapped up last Friday, examined the extent to which population growth affects the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), globally agreed targets on reducing poverty and eliminating other social ills by 2015.

Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), noted that the new sum more accurately captures current needs and is more in line with investments necessary to achieve the MDGs.

“As the financial crisis unwinds, now is the time to increase social investment and redouble efforts” to achieve the Programme of Action, she said in a statement.