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The Government of the Republic of Zambia and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched the 2022 State of World Population Report themed “Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy”; as well as the 2020 World Population Day under the theme “A world of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future for all - Harnessing opportunities and ensuring rights and choices for all”.

The dual launch made the case that investing in women and girls can yield significant socio-economic dividends, including contributing to the achievement of Zambia’s Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals aimed at improving health and well-being for all by 2030.

In his key note address, Minister of Finance and National Planning Hon. Situmbeko Musokotwane reaffirmed the Government of Zambia’s commitment to integrating population dynamics in national development processes, towards improving the quality of human life and securing sustainable development.

"The theme of the 2022 State of World Population Report and World Population Day responds well to the current global and national scenarios which demand that Government and partners devise mechanisms that will not only focus on population numbers but also include rights and choices for all. This approach will result in harnessing key opportunities irrespective of whether a nation’s population is aging or is a youthful one" Hon Musokotwane said.

Launching the State of World Population Report, Minister of Health Hon. Silvia Masebo drew attention to the high rate of adolescent pregnancies in Zambia, which increased from 28.5% in 2013/2014 to 29.2% in 2018. She also highlighted the high unmet need for family planning, which stands at 20%.

“To improve access to contraceptives, family planning services must be provided at all clinics, health centers, hospital casualty departments, and outpatient departments, as part of the sexual reproductive health and HIV integration services in health facilities and outreach services,” Hon. Masebo said.

Also speaking at the launch, UNFPA Representative Ms. Gift Malunga reaffirmed UNFPA’s commitment to collaborate with the Government of the Republic of Zambia and stakeholders towards the realization of the right to health for all, and contribute to Zambia’s shared vision of becoming a prosperous middle-income country by 2030.

“This 2022 State of World Population Report and World Population Day underscores the urgent need to secure dignified lives for all, as more and more people join those of us already here. New development challenges will arise that call for enhanced efforts to harness the vast human potential, especially among young people aged below 18, who comprise 52% of Zambia’s population - the largest population of young people in its history!” Ms Malunga said.