World Population — The subject of population touches upon a wide variety of human interests from reproductive rights to economic development to a sustainable world. For a quick overview, see Why Population Matters. Every two years, the UN’s Population Division publishes its “World Population Prospects” report: Click here for a summary of the latest findings and trends.
Covid-19 Crisis in Africa
After a relatively late start, the COVID-19 pandemic is gathering force in Africa.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the novel coronavirus could infect up to
44 million people and kill up to 190,000 in the first 12 months of the epidemic, depending on the
success of containment measures. An early United Nations report projected that between 100
and 800 million could ultimately be infected on the continent, with a death toll in the millions.
In addition, economic contraction could push 27 million people into extreme poverty, reversing
hard-won development gains.
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights During Covid-19 Crisis
The novel coronavirus pandemic affects all segments of society; however, women and girls face special challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic has major implications for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). There is growing concern about the impacts that the pandemic, pandemic related restrictions, and the resulting economic disruption are likely to have on SRHR and a broader range of issues affecting the health and wellbeing of women, girls, and LGTBQ+ people. From increased barriers to reproductive health services during the pandemic, to disruption in the global reproductive health supply chain, vulnerable populations and marginalized communities are in great danger of suffering from the secondary impacts of the coronavirus.
The African Sahel
Nations in the African Sahel, the semi-arid region south of the Sahara Desert, face significant demographic challenges. The region, which is one of the poorest in the world and also one of the most food insecure, has some of the highest population growth rates in the world. Climatic changes—rising temperatures and severe droughts—are contributing to water scarcity, desertification, and soil erosion, and exacerbating tensions between herders and farmers. If gender inequality is addressed, child marriage is abolished, greater investments are made in education, and access to family planning services improves, the region could benefit from an economic boom, what economists and demographers describe as the “demographic dividend.” For countries like Niger and Mali, however, time may be running out.