UNFPA lauds Iran’s efforts to provide services to the elderly

October 2, 2018

TEHRAN — The representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to Iran hailed Iranian organizations for the effective services they provide for the older persons.

Leila Joudane praised Iran’s efforts to provide senior citizens with appropriate services helping them live safe and added that responsible organizations have worked well to serve the senior population in the community.

She made the remarks in a ceremony held in Tehran on Monday concurrent with the International Day of Older Persons, Tasnim news agency reported.

Over 81 percent of the elderly in Iran live with their family members, Joudane added. 

According to the United Nations, almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60, she noted.

The aging population in the world will reach almost 1.4 billion by 2030, she stated, adding, by 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 percent of the world’s population, will be over the age of 60 and “we need to prepare for this condition before the population grow older.”

The increase in the number of older people is happening worldwide even in developed countries and Iran is no exception, she added.

She went on to say that “In the future, the aging population will constitute one-third of the country’s total population, and the number of older women will even be higher than men.”

According to the latest census, some 81 percent of the elderly in Iran live with family members, but the number of those who live without a wife or husband and family is also rising, she highlighted.

Elsewhere in her remarks, Joudane explained that some 50 percent of female elderly in the country are breadwinners or are living alone, a significant proportion of whom are I financial distress.

Therefore it is of great importance to pay more attention to this group, she stated, adding, given that they can play an active role in the development of the community, enhanced attention to the particular needs and challenges faced by many older people is clearly required.

She further explained that for sustainable development, we need to study the demographic trends to use the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and due to the fast growing of aging population, the 60-year-old population should come into greater focus in the future.

“A survey on aging population is underway in Iran under the auspices of the UNFPA, which can be effective in planning for and serving the elderly,” she also highlighted.

“Our other task is to take steps toward elderly education and training, which is partially done by the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare,” she added.

She also went on to say that UNFPA Iran, Welfare Organization, and HelpAge International also will coordinate to co-host the biennium HelpAge Regional Conference on Population Ageing which will be held in Tehran on October 23-25, with a main theme of “Family, Community and State in Ageing Societies”.

The conference brings together 130 foreign experts from 28 countries around the world, with representatives of government, international organizations, academic institutions, civil society organizations, parliamentarians and private sector, she concluded.

According to UNFPA, the day one of the conference assesses the trends in population ageing and family dynamics, as well as how communities and governments across Asia have responded. Through parallel streams on day two, the conference will then examine policies and community services to ease adaptation to ageing trends particularly in relation to social inclusion, income security, and health and care.

On December 14, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons. The holiday was observed for the first time on October 1, 1991, which is celebrated by raising awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence and elder abuse. It is also a day to appreciate the contributions that older people make to society.

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) turns 70 this year, the International Day for Older Persons celebrates the importance of this Declaration, and reaffirms the commitment to promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons.

FB/MQ/MG

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