Today, July 11, marks world population day. This day pushes governments, business societies, non-government organisations, and civil society to focus on population matters regarding its impact on economic and environmental development. Population growth puts pressure on the world’s resources-affecting climate change and environmental sustainability. In a time like this during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is impossible to overlook controllable factors like the population to reduce the harmful effects on our natural resources and livelihoods.
Due to the ongoing battle against the pandemic, there have been reports of a lack of contraception in health facilities. This may increase childbearing and unwanted births. Nonetheless, with the increased morbidity and chronic conditions that affect one-third of those infected with the COVID-19 disease, countries will face falling fertility and lower life expectancy. This will affect all socio-economic groups leading to higher levels of deprivation, erasing substantial economic, social and environmental sustainability gains from past years.
According to recent data, the current world population is a 1.03% increase from 2020. Developing countries should focus on providing essential basic care to people in less privileged communities. Social protection initiatives should be at the core of their developmental plans. There will be less pressure on governments, and deprived people will not become a burden to society.
Human rights and gender-responsive policies need to be prioritised in measures to control the population safely. Sustainable development is achievable if conscious efforts are established to improve social protection initiatives to improve overall living standards.