A senior UN official has urged Pakistan to allocate more resources to family planning to curb rapid population growth in the country, as one-third of the Pakistanis have no access to contraception.
Rabbi Royan, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) chief in Pakistan, said that the country's population is growing by 2.05 percent a year and has reached the 180 million mark, making it the sixth most populous country in the world, reports the Daily Times.
Many couples who want to have fewer children have no access to contraceptives or family planning advice, he said, with the unmet need for birth control running at 33 percent.
"It is important that provincial and federal authorities demonstrate their full commitment through sustained and prioritized allocation of additional resources to family planning services and commodities," Royan said.
The issue of family planning was 'extremely relevant' to the country as the fertility rate remains very high as every mother on average gives birth to four children, he added.
Citing the latest UNFPA global report, Royan said that family planning delivers immeasurable rewards to women, families, and communities around the world.
Contraceptive prevalence has increased globally by just 0.1 percent per year over the last few years, according to the report.
The country had its last head count in 1998, which put the population at 132 million, and the government is working on a new population and housing census, according to the Population Census Organization (PCO) website.