Oct 12, 1999
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Today, there are six billion people on earth. But these numbers only tell part of the story. It is the people, and especially women and the one billion youth around the world, who will ultimately determine whether we grow in the next 50 years to 9 or 12 billion people, or to 50 or 75 billion.

"It took hundreds or millions of years to reach the point of one billion people on earth, in 1804. By 1927, population had doubled to two billion. By 1960, the globe hosted three billion inhabitants. And now, in 1999, world population has doubled again - reaching six billion. We can not help but ask: what steps must the global community take to sustain such growth? What will be the consequences for our environment, for migration, for the spread of diseases, for political instability and the promotion of peace, and, of course, for world health?

"Worldwide, birth rates are declining, but population continues to rise due to population momentum. At our current pace, we are adding about 78 million people every year. This translates into adding a city the size of San Francisco into the world's population every three days.

"Last year, Congress altogether eliminated US contributions to the U.N. Fund for Population Assistance, (UNFPA). UNFPA aids women, children, and families in approximately 160 countries around the world where health care structures are fragile and in need of support from the global community. I am proud that this year, members in the US House voted to restore US funding to the UNFPA, an organization which critically serves mothers and babies," Maloney said.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sponsored the legislation in this Congress to restore US funding to the UNFPA and is a Member of the US Delegation to the U.N. Special Session on Population and Development.