In fact, in some developing regions, and particularly in African countries, average expectation of life at birth is estimated to be less than 40 years and one in 4 children dies before the age of 1 year.

Consequently, many developing countries con- sider reduction of mortality, and particularly reduction of infant mortality, to be one of the most important and urgent goals. While the right of couples to have the number of children they desire is accepted in a number of international instruments, many couples in the world are unable to exercise that right effectively.

At the international level a number of strategies and programmes whose explicit aim is to affect variables in fields other than population have already been formu- lated.

These include the Provisional Indicative World Plan for Agricultural Development of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations/FAO World Food Programme, the International Labour Organisation's World Employment Programme, the Action Plan for the Human Environment, the United Nations World Plan of Action for the Application of Science and Technology to Development, the Programme of Concerted Action for the Advancement of Women, and, more comprehensively, the International De- velopment Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade.

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A population policy may have a certain success if it constitutes an integral part of socio-economic development: its contribution to the solution of world development problems is hence only partial, as is the case with the other sectoral strategies.

Thus, at present, average expectation of life at birth is 63 years in Latin America, 57 years in Asia and only a little over 46 years in Africa, compared with more than 71 years in the developed regions.

Furthermore, although on average less than one in 40 children dies before reaching the age of 1 year in the developed regions, one in 15 dies before reach- ing that age in Latin America, one in 10 in Asia and one in 7 in Africa.

Policies whose aim is to affect popu- lation trends must not be considered substitutes for socio-economic development policies but as being integrated with those policies in order to facilitate the solution of certain problems facing both developing and developed countries and to promote a more balanced and rational development. Throughout history the rate of growth of world population averaged only slightly above replacement levels.

The recent increase in the growth rate began mainly as a result of the decline in mortality during the past few cen- turies, a decline that has accelerated significantly during recent decades.While some consumers choose to create a budget and plan to pay off their bills on their own, for others going it alone is an overwhelming task.


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