Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2006

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2005 > Chapter 2 Details about Japan's ODA > Section 2. Measures for Each of the Priority Issues > 3. Addressing Global Issues > (3) Population

(3) Population

The world population has doubled in the past 50 years, and reached 6,464.7 million in 2005.35 This is a global issue that affects other issues such as the global environment, food, and energy. The average annual population growth rate is 1.2%. Meanwhile, among the developing countries there continues to be a tendency for poor countries to have a higher population growth rate, significantly affecting poverty, unemployment, food shortage, unqualified education, and environmental deterioration in those countries; hence addressing this issue is urgent. For example, the population growth rates in three countries in which per capita GNI is about US$600, Sierra Leone, Burundi, and Guinea-Bissau, are 3.1%, 3.4%, and 3.0%, respectively. The population growth rates in conflict-torn Somalia and Afghanistan are 3.1% and 4.1%, respectively.

    The population issue must be tackled from the two sides of the micro-level, including such issues as individual health and welfare programs; and the macro-level, involving population increase and decrease. When undertaking these efforts in the population field, assistance via international organizations is effective, utilizing specialized knowledge and international networks. Thus in FY2005 Japan donated ¥4.3 billion to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and ¥1.6 billion to the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). These organizations provide support for improving the health of pregnant and nursing women and for promoting maternal and child health, as well as collecting and analyzing population-related data such as the census of developing countries, enhancing women's capabilities, and educating and advocating adolescents, reportedly accounting for over 1.2 billion of the world population.

    In addition, from the perspective of "human security," in FY2005 Japan provided assistance for the Isolated and Disenfranchised Communities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Project which was implemented in Palestine by the UNFPA and other UN agencies. The Government also provided assistance through the Trust Fund for Human Security for the Capacity-building of African Union Forces in Darfur project which the UNFPA and other UN country teams implemented in Sudan. Looking at assistance for Pakistan's earthquake in October 2005, Japan provided emergency grant assistance to the UNFPA, which purchased 210,000 hygiene kits, and distributed them to pregnant women and others in the afflicted areas. In this way Japan contributed to measures against infectious diseases and a reduction in illnesses and has improved the sanitary situation in the afflicted areas.