Pakistan faces youth explosion
August 7th 2012
Karachi, Pakistan’s financial capital and the world’s fifth largest city, has an estimated population of 20 million, which is increasing at the rate of six percent per year. Regarded also as one of the world’s most dangerous cities, 40 percent of Karachi’s population livies in squalid shanty towns.
By the year 2020, Pakistan’s population is projected to reach 200 million and by 2050, in a business as usual scenario, the country will have 309 million people.
“If we start making efforts today, we may be able to apply brakes to the population in the next 30 to 40 years,” said Midhet, founder of Safe Motherhood Alliance. “The threat is the biggest ever in the history of mankind.”
“If population growth is slowed down to replacement level and concomitant investment made in the social sector, we could deal with this youth bomb,” says Zulfiqar Bhutta, member of the independent expert review group for maternal and child health for the United Nations Secretary-General.
Bhutta, co-chair of ‘Countdown to 2015’, a global scientific and advocacy group tracking progress towards the U.N. Millennium Development Goal Five pertaining to maternal health, told IPS that the fact that population growth would inevitably outstrip resources for education, employment and development, was always well recognised.
“It is just that the mismatch has become became apparent over time,” Bhutta told IPS. “Our current resources and investments cannot deal with a fresh birth cohort of 4.5 million every year and the proportion of people who are uneducated, unemployable and uncared for continues to grow,” he said.
Read the entire article: Inter Press Service
More on this issue: Poverty