Impact of Population Assistance to an African Country

ID-77-3: Published: Jun 23, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1977.

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Rapid population growth combined with poor social and economic conditions is hindering development efforts in many countries. African birthrates are among the highest in the world, and population growth rates are expected to increase as improved health care lowers mortality. Ghana is one African nation that has recognized its population problem. It has promulgated an official population policy, and has established a family-planning program. The United States has provided about 75 percent of the $15.9 million of population assistance to Ghana. Ghana's program, however, has reached only a small percentage of the population, primarily urban.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: In planning development assistance for Ghana and other African nations, GAO recommends that the Administrator of the Agency for International Development, as appropriate: encourage governments, and provide support when necessary, to examine the relationships between social and economic change and fertility; help governments to establish population policies which encourage the types of social and economic development identified as having a maximum impact on fertility; consider the impact on population growth of planned U.S. development projects and work to integrate population and development projects; and take actions to encourage the establishment of an effective, systematic coordinating mechanism for population assistance in Ghana and in other countries where none exists.

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