ISLAMABAD - A top UN official in Pakistan has cautioned that the non-conduct of population census can adversely affect the even distribution of resources in the NFC Award in addition to creating other economic and policy-making problems for the country.“There are too many problems that could surface if the population census is not conducted,” Rabbi Royan, Country Representative for United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), told this journalist ahead of the launch of the UN agency’s global report, State of the World population 2012 on Wednesday.“The population census is an extremely essential process but it could not be conducted in Pakistan due to some reasons. I hope, the new government quickly decides to carry out the population census,” he said referring to the upcoming general elections in Pakistan in a few months.While the Pakistani government gurus take pride in delegating what they dub as a ‘hefty’ share of resources to the provinces for population welfare in the 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) award, the UNFPA country chief believes otherwise.  “Highly insufficient funds have been allocated for family planning in the last NFC award and last year, the Federal Government came up with Draft Population Policy but it was shelved. This issue was also discussed in the Council of Common Interests but no progress was made. These kind of things really hamper the efforts to control rapid population growth in Pakistan. I talk to the top people at provinces and they say population growth is one of the major problems in the provinces they govern. This has to change. Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world with a population of over 18 million people,” he said.Signed on December 30, 2009 by all the four provinces, the 7th NFC award prioritised population welfare at 82 per cent and poverty reduction at 10.3 per cent but only 0.3 per cent of funds was specified for population welfare. Punjab got 51.74 per cent from the divisible pool for provinces, Sindh 24.55 per cent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 14.62 per cent and Balochistan 9.09 per cent.“The federation and the provinces have to demonstrate a strong commitment towards addressing the population challenges in Pakistan. There are so many constraints involved as population welfare and health departments working in different directions. Mutual cooperation is needed to address these issues,” he said.“Still, I think its not that they (government) don’t want to do it (census), it’s just that they have been unable to do it due to a number of reasons as floods and new voters lists,” the UN diplomat added referring to last year’s flash floods and election commission’s verification drive for the Electoral Rolls.  Asked if the con-conduct of population census, which had led to the non-delimitation of electoral constituencies, would negatively impact the general elections, Royan said, “No it won’t. Elections in a way are based on constituency lines that involve the number of voters in every constituency. This kind of data is already available and can be re-compiled if needed,” he said.Meanwhile, the UNFPA’s global report State of World Population 2012 is themed, “By Choice, Not By Chance: Family Planning, Human Rights and Development.” Launched simultaneously across the globe, the 140-page document discusses in detail the challenges to family planning, maternal health and women right to birth control in the world of nearly 7.1 billion human inhabitants, with particular reference to the under developed and developing states. It highlights the prevalent factors that hinder family planning, generally emanating out of cultural constraints, socio-economic challenges and customary practices in different spheres worldwide. According to the report, Pakistan, with a population growth rate of 2.05 per cent and fertility rate of 4.1 per cent (every woman, on an average, has more than four children) is facing serious challenges from the rapid population outburst. Pakistan’s Maternal Mortality Ratio (deaths per 100,000 births of alive babies) now stands at 276 MMR compared to 260 MMR in 2010 while the UNFPA targets to reduce it to 140 MMR by 2015 as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The report shows that 23 international treaties, conventions and agreements relevant to reproductive health and human rights have been signed by the UN member states over last 64 years which made progress in addressing challenges to birth control but the major hindrances still remain persistent. The latest significant global event on family panning was the London Summit held in July this year.  The UNFPA said, the donor countries and foundations in the said summit, together pledged $2.6 billion to make family planning available to 120 million women in developing countries with unmet needs by 2020. Developing countries themselves pledged $2 billion. “(But) more is needed each year to meet the unmet needs for family planning,” the report stated. “In 2010, donor countries fell $500 million short of their expected contribution to sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries. Contraceptive prevalence has increased globally by just 0.1 per cent per year over the last few years,” an official statement said.The population growth and maternal health challenges remain severest in Sub-Saharan Africa where fertility rate based on births per women is recoded 5.1 per cent (every woman on an average has more than five children) compared to 1.7 per cent in developed world, 2.8 per cent fertility rate in less developed world and 4.5 per cent in under developed world excluding Sub-Saharan African region. The average fertility rate worldwide is estimated at 2.5 per cent.