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UN Population Fund calls for action

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 29, 2011) – The Papua New Guinea Government has been told it is not doing enough to address the country’s dramatic population growth.

The PNG population is forecast to shortly hit seven million, nearly double what it was 20 years ago.

The United Nations Population Fund says there are no proper plans in place to deal with the high fertility rate.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that development partners are calling for a multi-sectoral approach to solve the issue.

The population increase is having an adverse effect on service delivery, placing limits on access to water, food, electricity, education and health.

[PIR editor’s note: While officials have criticized the lack of measures to deal with the sudden population growth experienced in PNG, human development index indicators have shown positive progress since 1980. Life expectancy has increased by 10 years, educational years by 3.2, and in overall development PNG was ranked 137 out of 169 countries. Still, other officials have characterized PNG as "dragging the chain" in Pacific development towards millennium goals.]

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