Rapid population growth will undo all the work we’ll have done

4 June 2015 | Coalville Times

(Headline by Coalville Times)

Bryan J Marvin is understandably critical of our efforts to help Afghanistan. I do believe that we have done quite a bit of good. Unfortunately, this good will be temporary only as the rapid population increase in Afghanistan will nullify all the good done. If the aid had been used to provide effective family planning and our government had been able to persuade the Afghan government to put in place an effective family planning service, such as they have in the neighbouring country of Iran, we would have done immeasurable good to Afghanistan, and that good would have greatly reduced the number of Afghans trying to get into Europe.

(In Iran, the fertility rate fell from 5.62 children per woman in 1985-1990 to 1.89 in 2005-2010. This was done by the provision of virtually free family planning, with pro-active health workers and clinics in most localities, encouragement from the government and from religious leaders, teaching about population matters in schools, and lessons on family planning for both men and women before marriage.)

Unfortunately, our governments, whether Conservative or Labour, have little interest in promoting this type of effective family planning either in Afghanistan or in other countries in Africa and the Middle East. The result of this is that, according to the United Nations Population Division, the population of Africa plus the Middle East from Palestine to Pakistan which was 300 million in 1950 will be over 3000 million in 2050.

Few people find these figures interesting so we will do nothing about them until it is too late. Perhaps, just now, at the very least, we could provide more money “to finance and improve immigration policy together with more immigration officers” as Mr Marvin advises.

Gerald Danaher