Nepal | May 26, 2020

Ageing population both cause for celebration and a challenge: UNFPA

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, September 30

The ageing population is both a cause for celebration and challenge, said D Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of United Nations Population Fund, on a statement issued on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons.

The United Nations has declared October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons to draw attention to negative stereotypes about older persons and ageing. The theme of the day this year is “Take a Stand against Ageism”.

More efforts are needed to minimise lifelong inequalities and improve the life conditions of older people to ensure that everyone’s well-being is enhanced through this demographic shift, said the UNFPA chief.

This year Nepal is celebrating the 26th International Day of Older Persons for a week. Out of Nepal’s total population, over 8 per cent over are over 60 years of age. The number of older persons is increasing. The number of dependent elderly is also going up every year and an estimated 78,000 people are living with some forms of dementia across the country.

The government has formed a main celebration committee represented by various ministries and the National Senior Citizens Federation to commemorate the day across the country.

People aged 60 and older account for 12.3 per cent of global population in 2015, and by 2050, that number will rise to almost 22 per cent, according to UNFPA. “Most of the projected growth of the older population is expected to take place in developing countries. Asia is home to over half of the world’s 901 million older persons, with 508 million aged 60 or over,” said Dr Babatunde.

Reducing lifelong inequalities and embracing the contributions of older people offer tremendous prospects for development, he said adding that population ageing is a transformative force in every country that will test the existing structures of our economies, households and societies.

A version of this article appears in print on October 01, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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