If the present rate of population growth goes unchecked, countries
like Nepal will face long term consequences. Despite several measures
taken in the past, there are areas needing robust efforts and investments to manage population. Clearly, more serious atttention should go to family planning and reproductive health issues. The government and related non-government agencies would do well to invest resources on these issues to meet the challenges thrown up by increasing population, especially in a poor and populous region like South Asia.
Government investment in Nepal's family planning and reproductive health programs is far from sufficient. Other South Asian countries fare no better in terms of such investment. As more than a fifth of humanity lives in South Asia with the world's 40 per cent adolescents and youths inhabiting the region, people here need reproductive health and family planning services in their doorsteps. If the countries in the region fail to meet their demands, population growth will only soar up and up.
South Asian parliamentarians, policy makers and experts recently discussed these matters in a consultative meeting where they called for more funds for these programs. Already teeming with the world's poor, South Asian countries cannot afford to host too many people being added too fast. This is the reason population issues matter in South Asia, where almost all countries are mired in political instability and chaos and often the governments fail to address the most urgent issues. Now the time has come for the region to accord top priority and matching funds for an effective population management program.