As the world today celebrated the birth of the 6 billionth person, poor countries continue to suffer from population growth that outstrips their economic growth. Most of the 240,000 babies born each day are unplanned children born into families without the enough food or adequate healthcare access. According to a UN Press Release, “An estimated 192 million children below the age of five suffer from protein and calorie deficiencies. Each day, malnutrition is a significant factor in the deaths of 11,000 of them. That’s one child dying every eight seconds for lack of food.”
Earlier this year, the United Nations’ Population Fund (UNFPA) warned that unchecked population growth will lead to, “deaths from famine, energy crises and civil breakdown in some regions as the fight begins for scarce resources such as water and arable land.” Nonetheless, funding for international family planning continues to be cut. UNFPA claims that its own budget cuts over the last two years will lead to 42 million unwanted pregnancies around the world.
Dr Nafis Sadik, UNFPA director, claims that the lack of funding stems from the failure of developed countries, such as the United States, to meet their funding obligations to international family planning. Despite their much larger budgets, developed countries have contributed only $2 billion of their promised $5.7 billion to family planning, while developing countries have contributed $6.5 billion out of a target of $11.3 billion.