UNICEF has celebrated the remarkable progress made by Uganda in effectively managing its population and calls for further action to balance population growth with the availability of resources to ensure quality care and services, particularly for newborns.
In its statement celebrating World Population Day, UNICEF says that with a population exceeding 45 million, Uganda is experiencing one of the most rapid population growth rates globally, with more than 50 per cent of its citizens under the age of 18.
This figure is projected to double by 2040. As the population continues to rise, the needs of children and families, including access to education, health facilities, clean water, and gender equality, will also intensify.
According to UNICEF, Uganda has achieved significant advancements in delivering essential services, such as nutrition, healthcare, education, and employment opportunities, to its expanding population. However, with the ongoing population expansion, it is crucial to align this growth with adequate resources at both the family and state levels to ensure the well-being and future prospects of every child.
This year’s theme is; “Unleashing the power of Gender Equality. Uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock our world’s infinite possibilities.”
“On this World Population Day, it is vital to emphasize the significance of investing in early childhood development and safeguarding the rights of all children. By providing comprehensive support during their formative years, we establish a solid foundation for their overall well-being and holistic development, enabling them to reach their maximum potential,” reads the statement from UNICEF.
The body acknowledges the Government of Uganda for its commitment to addressing population challenges, including the implementation of evidence-based policies and programs that prioritize the health and welfare of its citizens.
These initiatives, it says have resulted in improved maternal and child health outcomes, increased access to education and employment opportunities, and set the stage for a brighter future for future generations.
UNICEF has therefore called for sustained collaboration between the Government, civil society, and international partners to ensure equitable access to essential services and opportunities, irrespective of a child’s background or geographic location. Additionally, it urges the allocation of sufficient resources to prioritize investments in health systems, education, social protection, and livelihood programs tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and family.
“Uganda has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to nurturing its young population, and on this World Population Day, all stakeholders are urged to sustain and enhance these efforts. Together, we can build a future where every child in Uganda receives the care and support they require to thrive, ensuring a happier and more prosperous nation for all boys and girls,” the statement adds.