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Minister Tornaes; African population growth

Danish minister suggests birth control to stem African immigration

The Danish Minister for Development Co-operation, Ulla Tornaes, said Copenhagen would contribute $14 million for a programme to stop African mothers having too many babies. She singled out Africa, because of the continent's explosive population growth.

Published: July 14, 2017, 11:19 am

    London

    Denmark has pledged more funds for developing nations, to limit Africa’s population growth and to “limit the migration pressure on Europe”, the BBC reported. Tornaes argued that access to contraception was considered a foreign and security policy priority for the Danish government.

    Speaking at a conference in London on Tuesday, Tornaes said unwanted pregnancies had “enormous” human and social costs in poor nations. The minister said this “also has large social costs, where many countries’ development step is limited by high population growth”.

    According to Tornaes some 225 million women in poverty-stricken countries do not have access to birth control. “Unwanted pregnancies have enormous human costs in developing countries – from very young women who must give up their basic education, maternal mortality.”

    “If the population growth in Africa continues as now, the African population will double from 1.2 billion people to 2.5 billion people by 2050,” Tornaes reminded her audience.

    “Part of the solution to reducing migratory pressures on Europe is to reduce the very high population growth in many African countries.”

    In January 2016, the Danish parliament backed a controversial proposal to confiscate asylum seekers’ valuables to pay for their living costs. The decision was criticised by the UN.

    Similar remarks recently by French president Emmanuel Macron about Africa’s high birthrate were met with outrage and indignation.

    It comes just a month after the Dutch government announced a similar measure to finance access to birth control, abortion for women in developing countries.

    Lilianne Ploumen, the Netherlands’ minister for foreign trade, wants open access to information on abortion for women who are in receipt of aid from international development groups.

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