Poverty and Reproductive Health

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Poverty can be defined in many different ways. A condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information.” When people are unable to eat, go to school, or have any access to health care, then they can be considered to be in poverty, regardless of their income. At the 2005 World Summit, the international community reaffirmed its commitment to cut in half the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015 and achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a series of time-bound and quantified targets to attack poverty's root causes in a multi-dimensional way. The scale of the challenges, and the benefits of success to individuals, communities and the family of nation, are enormous: Global population is expected to increase from about 7billion today to 9.3 billion by 2050, and the population of the 48 Least Developed Countries will more than double to reach 1.7 billion. Almost all of the net increase in population is occurring in the urban areas developing countries, and in many of them, the number of people living in poverty is rising. Moreover, the supportive development environment that prevailed in the early years of this decade is now threatened as the world faces a global economic slowdown and a food security crisis. At the same time, the effects of climate change are becoming more apparent. Substantial evidence suggests that slower population growth and investments in reproductive health and HIV prevention (particularly among adolescents), education, women's empowerment and gender equality reduce poverty. Carrying out the Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo and reaching its goal of universal access to reproductive health information and services by 2015 is an essential condition for achieving the MDGs. A central premise of the ICPD is that the size, growth, age...
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