3 Jul 2014

UN concern at Kiribati crowding

2:29 pm on 3 July 2014

The United Nations Population Fund, or UNFPA, has been in talks with the Kiribati government this week about ways to curb what it calls concerning population growth.

Kiribati has a population of 103,000, with a growth rate of 2.1 percent - about 2,000 births and a natural death rate of 400 to 500 annually.

The UNFPA Pacific director, Laurent Zessler, says the government's new committee on the management of population and development is a good first step.

But Dr Zessler says the solution lies in educating people about the benefits of contraception and smaller family sizes.

"They have to better plan and take into consideration the number of children they are planning to have. This implies also to make better access to contraceptive and also to really work with each community in Kiribati to address this issue of rapid population growth."

Laurent Zessler says Kiribati plans to conduct a census next year to get an exact picture of its population distribution.