People-count politics

"People-count politics" Continued...

Issue: "Gunpoint evangelist," Oct. 9, 1999
  • High growth, with 70-80 million people added to the world's population each year
  • Medium growth, showing world population peaking around 2100
  • Low growth, where population numbers peak at 2040 and head down thereafter. Given current trends of rising standards of living (which usually lead to lower birth rates) and longer life expectancy, Mr. Eberstadt believes the low variant is the most realistic. UNPD demographers also differ from UNFPA by giving much more emphasis to the aging of population. Three years ago they instituted a new category of age groups, "oldest olds," or the over-80 segment of society. They produced a population aging wallchart, working under a 1992 UN mandate that designated 1999 as "the International Year of Older Persons." The UNFPA campaign has overshadowed UNPD efforts, but UNFPA may run short of cash. The agency has failed to collect half the pledges it was promised at the 1994 Cairo conference on population. Participating governments agreed to spend $17 billion a year by 2000 to achieve family-planning targets. Industrialized nations pledged to provide one-third of the cash, or $5.7 billion per year. So far, they are providing $1.4 billion. International resources are at half the level that was expected, according to UNFPA director Sadik. Capitol Hill is no easy sell, either. Last year Congress cut off UNFPA funding after finding new evidence of UNFPA links to China's one-child policy. Last week, lawmakers were holding up final passage of this year's foreign aid bill-in spite of a Clinton administration veto threat-in order to keep sanctions against UNFPA in place.


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