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“The celebration of the National Population Day by the United Nations Population Fund and its partners”

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the European Union and the Ministry of Youth and Sports celebrated National Population Day with a five-kilometers run in the coastal city of Alexandria in Egypt.  The event was attended by Dr. Aleksandar Bodiroza, UNFPA Representative in Egypt, and H.E Ivan Surkoš, European Union Ambassador to Egypt, who participated in the run.

Egypt’s population witnessed dramatic increase during the last decade and is estimated at 94.8 million people compared to a total of 72 million people in 2006. This steady increase of 2.5 per cent per year threatens to hinder development efforts, with major implications on security and quality of life, basic services, education, health, housing and water.

With 62 percent of its population below age of 29, the country is reaching the peak of the “youth bulge”, the largest cohort of young people in its history. Investing in youth, especially in young women who face tremendous inequalities that result in disparities in education, protection, employment, access to services, including reproductive health services is crucial.

Today’s event was also used as an opportunity to announce the kickoff the UNFPA partnership with the European Union to support the implementation of Egypt's National Population Strategy with efforts to scale up family planning activities at its core. The event was attended by hundreds of young people, they all gathered running for these causes “No to female genital mutilation, no to early marriage and yes to family planning”. After the marathon, the two underground bands El- Mina and High Dam performed their thematic songs on female genital mutilation, early marriage and women empowerment which they performed last week at the “16th Summer Music Festival” at Bibliotheca Alexandrina during the launch of “Music for Development” initiative. Meanwhile, through a dedication wall, we asked those enthusiastic young people about their opinion if one day they became a decision maker what will be their first decision taken to face population growth issue and here are a glimpse from their decisions: they will start by health revolution, they will enhance family planning services and they will build new cities and factories to benefit from the labor force, which indicates their awareness about this issue.

In his remarks, Dr. Aleksandar Sasha Bodiroza, UNFPA Representative concluded: “Today’s event is clear sign of strong commitment of UNFPA to support Egypt’s efforts to uphold the right of individuals, especially women, to plan a family. With our partner, the European Union, we are striving to help end all unmet need for voluntary family planning in Egypt by 2030. To do that we are partnering also with young people and athletes through “Sports4Development campaign”. Harnessing potential of sports, the UNFPA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports have long been mobilizing young people in Egypt to take active role in raising awareness on population growth and supporting efforts to abandon Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage”.

H.E Ivan Surkoš, European Union Ambassador to Egypt added: “Today's run is a gathering and joint message in support of the prosperity of the Egyptian people. We are all aware that in order to achieve employment, education and development for everybody, it is necessary to bring population growth to sustainable levels.

Given the importance of this subject for Egypt's future and the EU's position as key partner and friend of Egypt, I am pleased to share that the EU is providing important financial and technical support to the implementation of Egypt's National Population Strategy 2015-2030 with a grant of a total of EUR 27 million – over half a billion EGP. The United Nations Population Fund – which is one of the hosts of today's run - will ensure the programme's successful implementation.”




For media queries please contact:

Nada Salah, Communications Coordinator, UNFPA Egypt