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Vatican diplomat: Plunging birthrates are part of economic crisis

Catholic World News - April 15, 2010

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told a UN commission on April 12 that the world’s nations need to confront the problem of plunging birthrates in order to help solve the international financial crisis.

“As this Commission on Population and Development convenes in the midst of an ongoing economic and financial crisis, we would do well to listen to a growing opinion among economists that demographic trends are part of the problem and cannot be overlooked as an important part of the solution,” he said. “The demographic crisis that in a few decades has brought down annual population growth rates from 7% to below 1% in many parts of the world, in tandem with the aging of the population, has resulted in devastating effects for the economy and governance.”

“The correction of the population deficit with constant immigration does not seem to resolve the problems even in the short term,” he continued. “The same demographic policies that caused population growth rates to plunge to unsustainable levels need to be reviewed and redesigned along with appropriate social policies to encourage births.”

Noting that two million women suffer from obstetric fistulae and that 800,000 people die annually from malaria, Archbishop Migliore also called for a greater attention to prenatal and childhood health care.

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