My View: Bob Walker on family planning funding’s global value

April 8, 2013 • Family Planning, Daily Email Recap

My View: Bob Walker on family planning funding’s global value


In the grand scale of federal spending, international family-planning assistance is miniscule, less than one-fiftieth of 1 percent.

But dollar for dollar, it may be our best investment in a peaceful and prosperous future for all.

World population, which officially crossed the 7 billion mark on Oct. 31, 2011, is projected to reach the 8 billion mark in 12 more years; 50 years from now, we could have close to 10 billion people on the planet.

The vast majority of that growth, 97 percent, will occur in developing countries, many of which struggle with severe poverty, chronic hunger, water scarcity or internal conflict.

Some of these developing countries are on pace to triple their population within the next 50 years.

One of them is Mali, the West African nation that is fighting a major Islamic insurgency in the northern half of the country. For decades Mali has been fighting just to feed itself; now it is fighting to remain a country.

Child marriage is prevalent there; one of four girls is married before turning 15. Maternal and infant mortality, as a consequence, are extremely high, and chances of emerging from poverty are very low.

Mali is part of a large group of potentially “failing states.” Dozens of countries are struggling against great odds to maintain a functioning government, including Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan, Haiti and Democratic Republic of Congo.

And many fear that Pakistan could be become a failing country.

All of these nations have population-growth rates that pose a major barrier to reducing poverty and improving food security.

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Current World Population


Net Growth During Your Visit