Addis Ababa July 14/2017 Even if Ethiopia has made impressive gains in family planning during the past years, the country’s population that is over 100 million is likely to double again in the next 35 years, weakening its aspiration to reach middle income status by 2025.
This was stated at a joint press conference held by Jo Moir, Head of Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom, and Minister of Health Professor Yifru Birhane.
Despite the progress made, Ethiopia’s population has doubled in the last 25 years from around 50 million in 1991 to 102 million in 2016, Moir added.
According to the head, the country’s population is likely to double again in the next 35 years if the current fertility trend continues.
By providing family planning choices for everyone, Ethiopia would be able to increase women’s voice, choice and control over their reproductive health, slow down population growth and enhance economic growth, Moir elaborated.
“With better access to comprehensive family planning, women can take control of their lives, finish their education, get better jobs and in turn provide for smaller, planned families,” the head stressed.
The United Kingdom, through DFID, has announced today its new Family Planning by Choice program, which will provide 90 million British Pounds of support for voluntary family planning in Ethiopia over the next four years.
Health Minister Yifru said on his part the UK government has been supporting Ethiopia for long time in different sectors, particularly in family planning services.
Over the last two decades the support the nation has obtained from UK has brought significant contribution to the health service delivery in terms of strengthening and health service delivery development, the Minister stated.
According to him, family planning is one of the main pillars in the economic growth of both developed countries and developing world.
“As a developing country, we are hoping to bring about trajectory economic growth. So we need to scale up the family planning services we are able to achieve with contraceptive prevalence rate from about 5 percent to thirty five percent,” he pointed out.