Does Rapid Population Growth Lead to War?

| Thu May 13, 2010 4:41 PM EDT

From obstetrician and public health expert Malcolm Potts, responding to readers in the ongoing population forum:

Nearly all the fragile states such as Yemen (average number of children 6.2), Somalia (6.8 children), and the oxymoronic named Democratic Republic of the Congo (6.7) have rapid rates of population growth. (North Korea, with its mad despotic ruler is an exception proving the rule). Consider the Congo with 63 million people today and perhaps 186 million in 2050. Since World War II, there have been more deaths in the Congo from violence than anywhere else on earth. Yet the intentional community is doing almost nothing to help slow population growth in a voluntary way. I am on the board of Population Services International and we sell contraceptives at a subsidized prices in many countries, including the Congo. But we cannot keep up with demand because of shortages of contraceptives. The United Nations Population Fund and other agencies and donors interested in family planning and population growth should stop having so many staff going to innumerable meetings and start buying more contraceptives. Family planning is about commonsense, but common sense is a rare commodity when it comes to anything to do with sex and reproduction.

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