Welfare's Virtuous Circle.

Author:Fujimori, H.E. Alberto

During my participation in the twenty-first Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly, I emphatically maintained the need for developing countries to firmly break out of the vicious circle: poverty-unwanted children-poverty.

This vicious circle is one of the main barriers to the take-off of nations that have met almost all the conditions to undertake a slow but firm process of development.

The countries that have achieved solid macroeconomic foundations through discipline and effort also need to implement realistic population policies. The achievement of stability, an increasing economic growth and, of course, the financing of the struggle against poverty are only possible through this formula.

Peru has had an explicit national population policy since 1995 and it has reinforced its institutional capacity and increased the coverage and quality of the reproductive and family health services since the Cairo Conference.

The number of couples that chose reproduction methods was 340,000 in 1993; three years later, with the initiation of the reproductive health programme, a coverage of 610,000 couples who adopted modern methods was achieved; and four years later, in 1998, nearly a million couples bad access to this programme, that is, we have nearly tripled the aforementioned coverage in barely six years.

The economic, social and cultural impact of a million couples who have opted for responsible paternity is enormous for a country such as is Peru, with 25 million people. Without information, these couples would have had unwanted children that they could not properly feed and educate, and later on adolescents without a future who would be victimized by social disgraces such as prostitution or crime.

The results have had other positive consequences on the social plane. The interest in gender equity and the consideration of policies to promote and improve the situation of women by...

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