Niger: Too Little, Too Late

January 6, 2012 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Family Planning, Niger, Daily Email Recap

See the following article in the Fall/Winter 2011 edition of The Population Press. Go to:



Malcolm Potts, Virginia Gidi, Martha Campbell and Sarah Zureick

[In a world of Seven Billion, this is a cautionary tale for us all. What happens when a culture tells girls to value early marriage, servitude, no education, and no family planning? What happens when millions of desperate people flee their homelands? ~ Population Press Editor]

With the world’s fastest growing population, highest total fertility rate, rare and diminishing arable land, limited rainfall, high levels of malnutrition, extremely low levels of education, gross gender inequities, and a likelihood of conflict over diminishing resources, Niger presents us with a challenge for which we are not yet prepared. Niger is the most extreme example of a catastrophe that is likely to overtake the entire Sahel region of Africa.

Climate change could overwhelm an already fragile ecological environment. We examine two broad policy options: (1) the past policy of focusing on socioeconomic development and largely ignoring family planning; (2) the emerging emphasis on family planning choices. We conclude that the only plausible scenario for Niger is to prioritize family planning as a critical factor for development, and also delay the age of marriage. All the countries of the Sahel could be facing mortality in next 30 years that will match Africa’s deaths from AIDS over the past 30 years.

To read the full article, please click here:

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