Lack of Political Commitment Hampering Population Progress in Latin America; Uncontrolled Growth of Cities and Aging Becoming Serious Problems

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Lack of political commitment hampering population progress in Latin America

Uncontrolled growth of cities and aging becoming serious problems

AWARENESS of the importance of population has not yet been translated into political commitment in most Latin American countries.

This is happening despite a population growth rate second only to that of Africa and the worst economic crisis in the region's history.

Population is not generally being taken into account in development plans. The population units established precisely for that purpose have not yet produced the expected results.

The uncontrolled growth of cities and the increase in the number of the aged are two other worrying issues in the continent.

These are among the conclusions reached by UNFPA in its 1986 report.

Commitment from top essential

Dr. Hugo Corvalan, who heads UNFPA's Latin America and Caribbean Division, says that "where there is not a clear and public commitment from the top, population planning just doesn't happen'.

Dr. Corvalan is a Chilean generalist and obstetrician with a degree from the London School of Economics and extensive field experience who still manages to practise. …