Challenge of World Population Explosion:

To Slow Growth Rates While Improving Quality of Life

ID-76-68: Published: Nov 9, 1976. Publicly Released: Nov 9, 1976.

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The rapid population growth rate in developing countries concerns the entire world because it will affect the quality of life of future generations, by placing more burdens on food production; creating greater demands on inadequate health care and education facilities; increasing unemployment; contributing to urban migration; accelerating the use of limited natural resources, which could restrict the earth's ability to support life; and being conducive to civil unrest.

The situation can be controlled through communication, services, shifts in incentives, changes in social institutions and opportunities, and coercion. Policies, of course, have to take into consideration traditional values and customs, religious and ideological resistance, political attitudes, illiteracy, and cultural and economic pressures. The most effective program, and the most widely used, is that of fertility reduction. In 1973, Congress revised foreign economic aid policies to help the impoverished majority improve their standard of living and participate more effectively in the development process. The AID population program has six major categories. In addition to government programs, universities and private organizations are concerned about the problem. The private organizations are: International Planned Parenthood Federation; Family Planning International Assistance; Population Council; Association for Voluntary Sterilization; and the Pathfinder Fund, all of which receive AID money. The United Nations and the World Bank also have extensive programs.

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