President Mohamed Nasheed has said that an educated and a healthy population was vital to achieve progress in today’s global environment. He made the statement in his message on the occasion of the World Population Day 2009, which is being observed today.

The President added that, hence, it was important to increase the self-sufficiency of the population. He also said that research show increasing economic independence and self-sufficiency of women was more effective in reaping the benefits of opportunities created by the global environment.

President Nasheed said that this year’s World Population Day was being observed at a time of global economic recession, and noted that the Maldives was not isolated from the current economic crisis.

President Nasheed said that most vulnerable members of society were most likely to be affected by any such crises. He further said that women and girls represent 70 percent of world’s the poorest and the most vulnerable.

The President said, therefore, based on these global realities, it was plausible to believe that Maldivian women would be more susceptible to the hardships of current recession.
In his message, President Nasheed said the aim creating opportunities for public private partnerships in providing basic necessities was to create a population with a wider worldview, not apprehensive of possibilities for progress.

Furthermore, the President said that the policies were in place to optimally utilise our natural resources and distribute the benefits among all members of the population. He also said that he was confident of successfully implementing these policies, and the government was taking all necessary steps to overcome the challenges that we face against the objectives of these policies.

President Nasheed also said that in a system of good governance, senior citizens of the country should be able to access adequate healthcare. In this regard, the he said that the government now provides health insurance for senior citizens and a 2000 rufiyaa pension for citizens aged 65 and above.