Every minute 140 babies are born. On July 11, 1987 one newborn in Yugoslavia was declared to be the 5 billionth human alive on the planet. Now, every July 11 is celebrated as World Population Day, to highlight the importance of addressing and finding solutions to population issues.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) partners with governments and non-governmental organizations in 140 countries to promote reproductive health. These programs help to save lives, slow the spread of HIV and encourage equal rights for men and women. This, in turn, helps to reduce poverty and stabilize population growth, creating more healthy and prosperous families, communities and a better world.
Education is one key to stabilizing the world population. When girls have equal access to education and equal participation in the workforce, they don't start families at such a young age and don't have as many children when they do start families. Promoting equal rights for men and women benefits everyone, helps to reduce poverty and save lives.
Every minute, a woman in the developing world dies from treatable complications of pregnancy or childbirth. With better access to health care, half a million woman's lives and seven million infants wouldn't needlessly die. Better reproductive health services would help slow down the AIDS epidemic. Every day, 14,000 people, half under 25, are infected with HIV/AIDS. Family planning for the world's poor is essential. The birth rate is highest in the world's poorest places.
At the Millennium Summit in the year 2000, the world's leaders agreed to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015, promote gender equality and end discrimination against women. World Population Day is a time to remind our leaders about their promise to meet these goals.