Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. Nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving life. About 1.8 billion young people are entering their reproductive years, often without the knowledge, skills and services they need to protect themselves.
On the World Population Day, many activities and campaigns will call attention to the essential part that reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world.
Reproductive health is at the very heart of development and crucial to delivering the United Nations Population Fund's vision — a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Universal access to reproductive health by 2015 is also one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. But we have a long way to go.
As the world population edged to 7 billion people in 2011 (up from 2.5 billion in 1950), it has had profound implications for development. A world of 7 billion is both a challenge and an opportunity with implications on access to health services; but also sustainability, urbanization, and youth empowerment .
More: Interview with Kate Gilmore, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNFPA Deputy Executive Director (Programme), on the occasion of the World Population Day and the Family planning Summit, that will take place in London on 11 July 2012.
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