Fund family planning – Denmark’s plan to ease Europe’s immigration pressure


The Danish government has announced that it would be increasing funding for family planning in developing nations as a means of easing the pressure Europe currently faces from immigration.

Ulla Tornaes, minister for development co-operation, said at a conference on Tuesday that the Danish government would be contributing 91 million kroner ($14 million) towards the programme.

Tornaes said that unwanted pregnancies had an "enormous" impact on life in the world's poorest nations. 

She also pointed out that around 225 million women in the world's poorest countries presently do not enjoy access to family planning.

"Unwanted pregnancies have enormous human costs in developing countries – from very young women who must give up their basic education, maternal mortality," she said.

The Danish minister added that curbing Africa's population growth was also important to easing migration pressure on Europe.

"If the population growth in Africa continues as now, the African population will double from 1.2 billion people to 2.5 billion people by 2050," Tornaes said.

"Part of the solution to reducing migratory pressures on Europe is to reduce the very high population growth in many African countries."

The Scandinavian country, like a number of other European Union nations has faced considerable pressure from asylum seekers and immigrants arriving in Europe.

The country has, however, in recent times seen a decline in applications, with the government reporting just 5 500 applications received up to October 30, 2016, compared to the 21 000 it received in 2015.

Danish parliament also faced criticism from the United Nations for a controversial proposal in January 2016. Parliament supported a proposition to confiscate asylum seekers' valuables as a means of paying for their maintenance.