It is vital to harmonise the current high population growth with the availability of resources – both at the family and state levels – to guarantee the well-being and future prospects of every child, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has said.
“With a population of over 45 million people, Uganda has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world with more than 50 per cent of its citizens below the age of 18 years. This number is expected to double by 2040. As the population increases, so will the needs of children and families—the need for education, health facilities, access to clean and safe water and the protection of both boys and girls,” Unicef said in a statement issued on World Population Day, marked every July 11.
In the statement, the agency underscored the importance of investing in early childhood development and safeguarding the rights of every child.
“By providing comprehensive support during a child’s early years, we lay a solid foundation for their overall well-being and development, enabling them to reach their full potential,” the UN agency stated.
The agency commended the government of Uganda for its efforts geared towards addressing population challenges, including the implementation of evidence-based policies and programmes that prioritize the health and welfare of its citizens.
It said these initiatives have resulted in improved maternal and child health outcomes and increased access to education and employment opportunities, setting the stage for a better future for generations to come.
Unicef, however, called for continued collaboration between the government, civil society, and international partners to ensure equitable access to essential services and opportunities, regardless of a child’s background or location.
According to the agency, there is need for allocation of sufficient resources to prioritize investments in health systems, education, social protection and livelihood programmes that address the unique needs of each child and family.
“Uganda has proven its commitment to nurturing its young population, and on this World Population Day, we urge all stakeholders to sustain these efforts. Together, we can build a future where every child in Uganda receives the care and support, they need to thrive, ensuring a happier and more prosperous nation for all boys and girls,” Unicef said.