Tuesday, 15 June 2021 23:11

Ministry of Planning, UNFPA, Present the Population Analysis Report 2020

15 June 2021, Baghdad, Iraq – The Ministry of Planning and UNFPA presented on 14 June the findings and recommendations of the Population Analysis Report 2020 during a workshop entitled "Population Policies for Sustainable Development".

The Population Analysis study, which was conducted by the Directorate General of Human Development of the Ministry of Planning, with support from UNFPA and Sweden, assessed the demographic and social changes that took place since adopting the population policy in 2014. This study paves the way for a revised population policy.

Today in Iraq, 60% of the population is formed of young people under 25. It means that 57% of people are capable of contributing effectively to the economic development of Iraq. Whether demographic changes can be used for the success and sustainability of country development is determined by implementing effective population policies that are rights-based, evidence-informed and gender-responsive.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Planning, Dr Khalid Battal Al-Najm, highlighted that in the past demographic indicators showed a significant population growth as a result of the high fertility rates in the country; however, presently, the fertility rate went down. The population growth has led to an increase in the number of young people and growth in the labour force. This, however, has led to an inability to meet the population, especially youth's needs for job opportunities and quality and sustainable lives. He also emphasized the importance of updated population data that should come from the population census.

For her part, UNFPA Representative, Dr Rita Columbia, said: "A people-centred population policy will support the country in its aspiration for peace and prosperity and become an accelerator for achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. This is the right time for Iraq to increase the investment in human capital, focusing on young people who will lead the country towards sustainable development and peace. UNFPA will continue supporting and working together with the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, and line ministries to move forward the youth agenda and strive for gender equality and social cohesion in order to fulfil Iraq's commitments made at the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, held in Nairobi in November 2019."

The event was attended by the Minister of Planning, Dr Khalid Battal Al-Najm, the Minister of Youth & Sports, Mr Adnan Darjal, a representative from the Department of International Organisations and Conferences, the UNFPA Representative, Dr Rita Columbia, and population experts. The inaugural session was followed by a panel discussion among experts who discussed the revision and update of the population policy, strengthening the role of the National Population Policies Committee, the population policy and development agenda in Iraq, as well as mainstreaming the population dynamics in the local plans. The meeting adopted a roadmap for the revision and update of the population policy document led by the Directorate of Human Development at the Ministry of Planning.

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UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.
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