ISLAMABAD: Population Council Project Director Samia Ali Shah said on Saturday that Pakistan could achieve economic and social development with a sustained decline in population growth.
Addressing a press conference, she said, “Our development prospects will remain elusive until we simultaneously focus on education; health care, including family planning; and women’s participation in the labor market. She said South Korea and Thailand halved their infant mortality rates in 13 to 18 years after 1960, while it took Pakistan 27 years to do so.
Compared to the “Asian Tigers” who have reached nearly 95% literacy, one third of Pakistan’s population aged 15 and above remains illiterate. Female labor force participation currently stands above 50% in all Asian Tiger countries, while in Pakistan it remains at 25%.
Ms. Samia spoke to the media about the economic and human development successes of Asian countries and drew media attention to the role of increased funding in improving family planning and population programs in the country.
Speaking to the media, Population Council Project Director Samia Ali Shah said Pakistan can achieve economic and social development with a sustained decline in population growth.
She said: “Smaller families offer greater opportunities to save more, contribute to national savings, and improve health and other development indicators for women and children. The role of the media is central in bringing the government’s attention to these issues of national importance,” she said.
The Population Council has shared evidence to inform the media on how reducing fertility contributes to economic growth by reducing the size of the economically less productive dependent population of young people under 15, thereby freeing up government resources which would have been necessary to meet the permanent expansion of the needs for educational and health infrastructures.
Senior Programs Director, Population Council, Dr Ali Mir, insisted on maintaining a balance between population size and natural resources, as Pakistan is already one of the top three most stressed countries. the world’s water supply and its agricultural lands have been rapidly depleted, making it a food-importing country.
Participants discussed the economic and environmental impact of rapid and uncontrolled population growth and exchanged ideas on mainstreaming the population debate among policymakers, academics and the public through the media.
The media has corroborated how national security of Pakistan is intertwined with human security and human development is not possible without facing a high population growth rate.
Posted in Dawn, June 26, 2022