Ageing populations pose special challenge: Azad

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Thursday said many countries are faced with vast, ageing populations, and are unable to meet the social security and employment needs of this segment of society.

Azad said the growing number of old people across the world poses challenges for existing health systems, social security and in some cases, employment opportunities. The problems are especially acute in some developing countries, he said.

"The contributions of an ageing population can be enhanced to create a second 'Demographic Dividend' by adopting enabling polices for productive ageing and creating opportunities for extended economic life," Azad said, launching the "Global Commission on Ageing in Developing Countries" at Beijing.

He said that the goal of the commission is to enable gender-, equity- and rights-based policies and programming that will improve the quality of life of the ageing in developing countries.

An official release quoted the health minister as saying that currently, for most countries of the world, the population aged 60 or over is growing at a rate faster than any other age group.

The United Nations has made projections that by 2050 there will be more people in the age group of 60-plus worldwide, than children aged under 14 years.

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