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Mar-Apr 2007, Young Population and Poverty Contribute to Strife

Mar-Apr 2007, Young Population and Poverty Contribute to Strife

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Published by Philip Nalangan
While it is not clear exactly how the age of a population contributes to strife, the research by Population Action International (PAI), a Washington-based influential international non-profit group, suggests that it is no simple coincidence that 80 percent of the civil conflicts that broke out in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s occurred in countries where at least 60 percent of the population was under 30, and that almost 9 out of 10 such youthful countries had autocratic rulers or weak democracies.
While it is not clear exactly how the age of a population contributes to strife, the research by Population Action International (PAI), a Washington-based influential international non-profit group, suggests that it is no simple coincidence that 80 percent of the civil conflicts that broke out in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s occurred in countries where at least 60 percent of the population was under 30, and that almost 9 out of 10 such youthful countries had autocratic rulers or weak democracies.

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Published by: Philip Nalangan on Sep 08, 2009
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March - April 2007Publication of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development
Young Population and Poverty Contribute to Strife
Population Action International Unveils its Study
recruit, said Ms. Elizabeth Leahy, theprimary author of a new report for PAI.One strategy is to reduce the birthrates,and the mortality rates of infants andyounger children, according to PAI;which hopes its research will improvecontraception programs, education for girls, and health services for childrenand pregnant women.“The budget realities are such thatunless you can show how your programshelp achieve larger ends - security,development, poverty reduction anddemocracy - traditional rationales for humanitarian assistance aren’t enough”,said Mr. Tod Preston, a senior adviser at the group.
Population, a neglected area of  American policy.
-More Than Humanitarianism
In a December 2005 report titled “MoreThan Humanitarianism”, a Councilon Foreign Relations task force withbipartisan leadership called population
Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and Congo have all suffered horrors brought on by disastrous governance and violent conflict. But they, and many of Africa’s poorest countries, have something else in common: a very young population.
Young protesters*Photo: The Internationalist
Intense competitionfor education, jobsand land among theyoung contributes todiscontent 
-Ms. Elizabeth Leahy  Author, The Shape of Things to Come
While it is not clear exactly how the ageof a population contributes to strife,the research by Population ActionInternational (PAI), a Washington-basedinfluential international non-profit group,suggests that it is no simple coincidencethat 80 percent of the civil conflicts thatbroke out in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90soccurred in countries where at least 60percent of the population was under 30, and that almost 9 out of 10 suchyouthful countries had autocratic rulersor weak democracies.In poor countries with rapidly growingpopulations, intense competition for education, jobs and land among theyoung contributes to discontent, andmakes it easier for rebel groups toa neglected area of American policy, onethat could help lower the odds of conflict.PAI’s report, “The Shape of Things toCome”, features Nigeria, Africa’s mostpopulous country with 132 million peopleand a major supplier of oil to the UnitedStates, as an example of the strategicrisks pose by youthful and volatilenations plagued by corruption, instabilityand poverty. Rebels there, enraged bythe distribution of oil revenues, haveattacked the industry that is important torich nations.In Nigeria, almost three quarters of thepopulation is under 30. Birthrates arevery high, at more than five children per woman. Less than half the women haveattended school and fewer than one in10 uses modern contraception. A fifth of children die before they turn 5, a factor that encourages couples to have morechildren to ensure that some survive.
Improve the infant and child survival,and educational status of women toreduce population pressures and tobecome more stable
-The Shape of Things to Come
Almost a billion of people live in countrieswhere birthrates average at least four children per woman; among them:Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan,Somalia and Sudan. Those countriesneed help to improve the infant andchild survival, and educational status of women to reduce population pressuresand to become more stable, the reportsays. If nothing changes, the authors saythat the populations of such countries willdouble in 35 years.
You’ve got a lot of young men.You’ve got a lot of poverty. You’vegot a lot of bad governance,and often you’ve got greed withextractive industries. You put all that together, and you’ve got the makings of trouble.
-Gen. William NashDirector, Center for Preventive Actionof the Council onForeign Affairs
Advocates at PAI are critical of deepcuts in the international family planningprograms in Bush administration’s 2008budget proposal but a Democratic-controlled Congress is likely to reversethem, as the Republican-controlledCongress did last year. The advocatesacknowledge that the administration’sefforts to increase the financing of programs to combat AIDS and malariaare likely to help prevent the deaths of many children.The group’s researchers found thatsome countries that have aggressivelypursued family planning programshave significantly changed their agestructures in a relatively brief span of 25 years. The report cites Iran as anexample. Since the 1990s, Iran hasmade modern contraceptives availablefree at public clinics. Births are down totwo children per woman, from six and a
When people think reproductiveissues are girlie because it involves a woman’s biology, they ignore the social, political and economic impact of not paying attention to these matters. And it reflects a pervasive attitudethat if it’s about women, it’sunimportant, but if it’s about what hugeweapons system tobuy, that’s moremanly and moreimportant”.
-Gen. Claudia Kennedy Member, PAI Board 
Hyderabad, March 9:
The 4th Asia-Pacific Conference on Reproductive andSexual Health, and Rights’ (APCRSH)International Steering Committee metto discuss important updates and inputsfrom the members of the committeeand invitees. Mr. A R Nanda, ExecutiveDirector of Population Foundation(India), chaired the meeting.The 4th APCRSH will be held on October 29-31 in Hyderabad. More than 1,500population, Sexual and ReproductiveHealth and Rights (SRHR), womenrights, HIV/AIDS and related NGOs,government officials, donors, UNrepresentatives, and parliamentariansare expected to participate to review thestatus of Sexual and Reproductive Health(SRH) programme, achievements andfailures, and to exchange information.Earlier conferences in Manila, Bangkokand Kuala Lumpur were able to generatenew energies and provide directions.The AFPPD, through parliamentarians’participation, will highlight the ‘politicsof SRHR policy, regulation andlegislation’.The Hyderabad conference will dealwith expanding and empowering theSRHR movement, moving beyondtokenism, equalizing sexual relations,responding to emerging issues inSRHR, addressing unmet need for SRH
Members of the committee and invitees at the meeting in Hyderabad. Dr. Gill Greer (center), Director General of IPPF
NGO and others wishing to participatein this exciting gathering may visithttp://www.4apcrsh.org or contactMs. Francesca Barolo, Coordinator of APCRSH, at4thapcrsh@gmail.com. Deadlineof submitting theabstracts is on May31, 2007.
Major Reproductive and Sexual Health Gathering to be in India
Steering Committee Reviewed Preparation
services, and making pregnancy safeand wanted.Ms. Madhu Bala Nath, Regional Director of International Planned ParenthoodFederation (IPPF), presented thestate of fund-raising; whereas Ms.Saroj Pachauri, Regional Director of Population Council, provided thebackground of the programme. Ms. GillGreer, Director General of IPPF (UK),promised full cooperation in makingthe conference an unprecedentedsuccess. Mr. Wasim Zaman, Director of UNFPA-CST/SAWA, explained thewide range of inputs and participationof UNFPA to make the conference anunique experience.
continued from page 1
half at the time of the 1979 revolution.Ms. Claudia Kennedy, member of thePAI board, said the United States needsto focus more on efforts to improve thestatus of women and ease populationpressures in developing countries.
Jakarta, April 19:
The House of Representatives of Indonesia hadpassed a long-awaited bill on humantrafficking and received approval bythe president. Earlier on March 20,Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarianson Population and Development(IFPPD) and UNICEF, under UNFPAassistance, conducted a joint pressconference that was attended by Ms.Meutia Hatta Swasono, Minister of Women Empowerment, and Ms. LatifahIskandar, Chair of Special Committee onAnti-Trafficking Bill. Ms. Swasono hailedthe bill saying it gives legal protectionto victims and Ms. Iskandar said it willprotect millions of women and childrenfrom abuse.
Anti-Trafcking Bill Passed withParliamentarian Forum Support
Ms. Meutia Hatta Swasono (left), Minister of Women Em-powerment, and Ms. Latifah Iskandar (right), Chair of SpecialCommittee on Anti-Trafficking Bill, at the press conference
Aggressively Pursued Family Planning Programs WillSignicantly Change a Country’s Age Structures
-PAI Reseach Group
*Source: Ms. Celia Dugger, New York Times
IFAD Supports to Combat RuralPoverty in Cambodia
Cape Town, March 15-17:
The 7thannual conference of the ParliamentaryNetwork on World Bank (PNoWB)brought together more than 200parliamentarians from 100 countries inSouth Africa.AFPPD facilitated the participation of MPs from Kazakhstan, New Zealand,Korea and Iran. Three AFPPD alumni:Ms. Janette Garin,MP (Philippines),Mr. Suresh Prabhu,MP (India), and Mr.Hideki Wakabayashi,MP (Japan), becamemembers of thePNOWB board.This year’s conferenceprovided an excellentopportunity for legislators fromaround the globe totake the lead in puttingAfrica and povertyreduction at the heartof the global agenda,and reflected the roleof parliamentarians inmajor developmentissues, including thereform of internationalfinancial institutions,governance and anti-corruption.
South KoreanDelegation:
KoreanParliamentary Leagueon Children Population and Environment(CPE), a member of AFPPD, sent adelegation to the PNoWB meetingconsisted of Hon. Ahn Hong Joon, Hon.Shin Sang Jin, Hon. Lee Sang Kyungand Hon. Kin Choon Jin. After themeeting, the South Korean delegationmade a field visit to some hospitalsworking for HIV/AIDS pregnant womenin South Africa.
Mr. Jean-Christophe Bas (2nd to the right), Development Policy Dialogue Manager of World Bank, introduced Ms. Saumura Tioulong (left), MP (Cambodia), to Mr. PaulWolfowitz (right), President of World BankSouth Korean parliamentarians during their field visit in one hospital in South Africa
Jakarta, March 28:
A youth seminar on tobacco control legislation withthe theme, “Young Generation asMain Target of Tobacco AggressiveMarketing: Do They Need Protection?”,was opened by the Speaker of theParliament in Indonesia.The Indonesian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population andDevelopment (IFPPD) petitionedand asked MPs for protection inseveral matters, such as aggressivemarketing of tobacco, prohibitionon purchase of cigarettes in singlestick and to minors, increase of tobacco products’ price and tax, andestablishment of smoke-free areas.An IFPPD proposed draft bill incontrolling the impact of tobaccoproducts on health was finalized inthe end of 2005. The draft bill wassupported by 224 MPs and submittedto the legislation, but had not yetbeen listed in the National LegislationPlan.
New York, April 20:
The InternationalFund for Agricultural Development(IFAD) announced that it will provideover USD 100 million to combat ruralpoverty in eight developing countriesin Africa, Asia, Latin America and theMiddle East.IFAD’s Executive Board, which metat the agency’s headquarters inRome from April 17-18, decided thatthe money is earmarked for Burundi,Cambodia, Comoros, Ethiopia,Kenya, Paraguay, Sierra Leone andSyria to improve the lives of the ruralpoor. The grants also include almostUSD 10 million for seven internationalcenters conducting research inagriculture, and providing training andtechnical assistance.Meanwhile in Cambodia, a USD9.5 million grant will finance a planto increase the access of 26,000households to advance crop andlivestock technology.“This new framework means that apoor country’s opportunity to reducepoverty will no longer be linked to itsdebt situation”, said Mr. Gary Howe,IFAD Senior Director.
Indonesian Forum Convened Youth Forum on TobaccoLegislation
Three AFPPD Alumni Elected on WorldBank’s Parliamentarian Network Board
World Bank Parliamentarians’ Conference Focused on African Poverty
Bali, April 29:
The 12th Meeting of Women Parliamentarians, as part of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)Conference, brought together over 90women from 64 countries. Variousinternational organizations were alsorepresented. The meeting was briefedon IPU activities since its previoussession at Nairobi in 2006 and discussedcooperation with the UN on gender issues.Ms. Aisyah Hamid Baidlowi, MP(Indonesia), Chair of Indonesian Forumof Parliamentarians on Populationand Development (IFPPD) and Vice-Chairperson of AFPPD, was electedas chair and delivered an openingspeech; that was followed by a fewwords of welcome from Mr. AgungLaksono, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Mr. Pier FerdinandoCasini, President of IPU. Ms. MeutiaHatta Swasono, Minister of WomenEmpowerment, delivered a keynotestatement outlining the work carried outby Indonesia to promote the status of women.
AFPPD Vice-Chairperson Chaired IPU’s WomenParliamentarians Meeting
Parliamentarians from Indonesia (left to right): Ms. AisyahHamid Baidlowi and Ms. Tuti Indarsih Loekman Soetrisno

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