Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Sunday urged the developed countries to invest more in areas of population control and family planning in the developing countries despite global financial crisis.
"The global economic downturn....in most developed countries, has had a significant impact on the availability of resources with international aid agencies in the health sector, such as the Global Fund, the World Bank, etc.," Azad said at the ongoing 5th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health in Beijing.
"We would like to, at this conference, strongly urge the international community, the governments of the developed countries in particular, to fully understand the difficulties of developing countries on resources and technologies and.... increase the investment on population, family planning and reproductive health programmes," Azad said, according to a health ministry release.
The minister said during difficult times (recession) it is (also) "imperative that governments ensure that their domestic budgets provide adequately for the public healthcare system. The funding gap can at least partially be met by ensuring more efficient utilization of domestic resources".
Azad said some countries in the Asia Pacific region are experiencing steady decline in fertility rate and also facing an ageing population.
"You have congregated here today, at the 5th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCSRHR), because you are deeply and truly concerned about sexual and reproductive health and rights," he said.
The health minister also said that climate change too is a major threat to the nations but the developed countries have the greater responsibility to reduce the effect of green house emissions.
"We in the developing world are not responsible for the concentration of green house gases in the atmosphere. Our per capita emissions are still very low when compared to those of the developed countries. And yet we are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change," Azad stressed.
"Accordingly, the developed countries should take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof," he said.