In honor of World Population Day yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement highlighting the importance of promoting reproductive healthcare for women. Clinton stated, “Programs that promote increased access to reproductive health care for women and girls in particular can lead the way to a healthier future for all. Investing in women and girls is cost-effective and essential to solving the world’s problems…we must redouble our efforts for the health and well-being of women and families around the world.”
By the end of October, the world population is expected to surpass 7 billion, just 12 years after it reached 6 billion. Over half the world’s population is under 25 years old, and the world population increases by 200,000 people daily. According to the 2011 Millennium Development Goals Report, despite improvements in education and maternity and infant mortality, “we still have a long way to go in empowering women and girls, promoting sustainable development, and protecting the most vulnerable from the devastating effects of multiple crises, be they conflicts, natural disasters or volatility in prices for food and energy.”
According to Robert Walker, Executive Vice President of the Population Institute, the price of rice has tripled since 2008 and the price of wheat doubled. Moreover, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that in order to sustain the growing population, food production must increase 70 percent over the course of the next 40 years.