Analysis: More Countries Want More Babies

Concerned with the consequences of demographic decline and population ageing, especially with respect to economic growth, national defence and pensions and health care for the elderly, a growing number of governments are seeking to raise birth rates. Whereas nearly 40 years ago 13 countries had policies to raise fertility, today the number has increased four-fold to 56, representing more than one-third of the world’s population.

Opinion: Women on Reproductive Strike

Women are having fewer than two children on average in 83 countries, representing nearly half of the world’s population. And in some countries, such as Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Singapore, South Korea and Spain, average fertility levels are now closer to one child per woman than the replacement level of about two children (Figure 1).

Agricultural Keys to Malaria in African Highlands

Sixty-five years after a major international summit here on malaria, the mosquito-borne disease remains a scourge and its incidence may even be rising in parts of sub-Saharan Africa due to the combined effects of climate change, agricultural practices and population displacement.

Opinion: Demography and Destiny

The demographic revolutions the world is experiencing are profound and far-reaching, affecting virtually every aspect of human society. Whether in politics, business, international relations, environmental affairs or even personal matters, understanding the fundamental demographic changes underway and anticipating their juggernaut consequences can contribute considerably to the setting of meaningful goals, designing effective strategies and achieving genuine progress.

Sustainable Settlements to Combat Urban Slums in Africa

Slums are a curse and blessing in fast urbanising Africa. They have challenged Africa's progress towards better living and working spaces but they also provide shelter for the swelling populations seeking a life in cities.

Opinion: Immigration, Myths and the Irresponsibility of Europe

With little fanfare, the German IFO Institute for Economic Research recently published a report on population projections for Germany which states simply that the country’s population is shrinking fast.

Gazan Fishermen Dying to Survive

The beautiful Mediterranean Sea laps gently onto the white sandy beach near Gaza City’s port. Fishing boats dot the beach as fishermen tend to their boats and fix their nets.

Fighting Hunger from the Pitch

A video ad is being screened before every match at the Africa Cup of Nations currently under way in Equatorial Guinea. Part of African Football Against Hunger, a joint initiative by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), it shows a player dribbling a football, taking a shot and scoring – the winning kick is a metaphor for ending hunger in Africa by 2025.

OPINION: Step Up Efforts Against Hunger

At the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS), heads of government and the international community committed themselves to reducing the number of hungry people in the world by half. Five years later, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) lowered this level of ambition by only seeking to halve the proportion of the hungry.

Pushing for Cities to Take Lead on Climate Change

If former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg had used the Vélib’ - Paris’ public bicycle sharing system - to arrive at the headquarters of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development here Wednesday, he might have sent a stronger message about the need for cities to be “empowered to take the lead in combating climate change”.

U.N. Launches Ambitious Humanitarian Plan for Gaza

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees has launched an ambitious recovery plan for Gaza following the 50-day devastating war between Hamas and Israel which has left the coastal territory decimated.

War Over but Not Gaza’s Housing Crisis

“When the [Israeli] shelling started, I gathered up my family and headed for what I though was a safe place, like a school, but then that became overcrowded and lacked sanitation, so we ended up in the grounds of the hospital.”

Fish Before Fields to Improve Egypt’s Food Production

Less than four percent of Egypt’s land mass is suitable for agriculture, and most of it confined to the densely populated Nile River Valley and Delta. With the nation’s population of 85 million expected to double by 2050, government officials are grappling with ways of ensuring food security and raising nutritional standards.

Leadership Growing Young

Fidelis Molao was 33 when he ran in elections to become a member of parliament in Botswana for the first time in 2010. He was one of the youngest MPs in the country at the time, and still is. He has long championed youth rights.

Despite Poverty Pacific Islands Score on Child Mortality

The Pacific Islands are making steady progress on reducing child mortality, but most are struggling to eradicate poverty and generate employment for young and rapidly growing populations.

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