Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak launched an $80 million family planning campaign this week, aimed at urging Egyptians to have smaller families. The program aims to reduce the number of children per family to 2.4 by 2012 and 2.1 by 2017, reports AFP.
Mubarak has urged Egyptians to have smaller families since coming to power in 1981, but the population has doubled since then, from 40 million to an estimated 81 million today, according to the Washington Post. Experts estimate that, at current birth rates, the population will double again by 2050.
Hoda Rashad, head of the social research center at the American University in Cairo, told AFP that a focus on education, health and women’s work is key to successfully bringing Egypts overpopulation under control.