An astonishing transformation is taking place that has until now been absent from mainstream development thinking: global ageing. Its absence is even more surprising as the evidence makes clear that demographic changes are affecting developing countries the most.
Currently about one in ten of the population is aged 60 or over; but within a generation – 2050 – this ratio will soar to one in five. Two-thirds of the 868 million older people alive today are in developing countries; and of the 2 billion people expected to be over the age of 60 by 2050, over three-quarters will live in low and middle-income countries. The rate of change is phenomenal.
Yesterday evening, Age International launched its flagship publication Facing the Facts: the truth about ageing and development at the House of Lords. It contains a series of articles by thought-leaders, academics and development experts, including Mary Robinson, Dr Margaret Chan and Sir Brendan Gormley.
As well as being the Chair of Age UK, I am also on the Board of its subsidiary charity,Age International. I believe passionately that people in later life all over the world deserve our support. That is why I am proud that Age International is helping older people in more than 40 developing countries around the world, including the Philippines after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.
When disasters strike, people ask me three main questions:
1.Will aid be delivered?
Yes it will. I have had the privilege of seeing our work in action. We work through local partners who know the situation on the ground better than anyone else. We have strict monitoring and evaluation procedures in place, so we know money will be used correctly. In the Philippines, we are working through our
The world is undergoing a demographic revolution. We are currently witnessing the dividends of improving health care and living standards in fast rising longevity across the globe.
The number of older people over 60 years old is expected to increase from about 600 million in 2000 to 2 billion by 2050. This change will be most dramatic in developing world countries where the number of older people is expected to triple during the next 40 years.
1 October is the International Day of Older Persons. Age International sees this as a time to celebrate the achievements of older people and a time to celebrate increased life expectancy around the world.
Population ageing is one of the most significant trends of the 21st century. With 1 in 9 persons in the world aged 60 years or over, projected to increase to 1 in 5 by 2050, population ageing is a phenomenon that can no longer be ignored.
It has important and far-reaching implications for all aspects of society.
Population ageing is happening in all regions and countries at various levels of development. It is progressing fastest in developing countries, including those that have a large population of young people. Of the current 15 countries with more than 10 million older persons, seven of these are developing countries.
First impression of Addis Ababa: dazzling sunshine and a chaotic kaleidoscope of colour. Ethiopian women love to wear bright, strong, clashing shades of blue, green.
Before we left home, friends said, ‘you’ll find the poverty distressing.’ But somehow I don’t. Yes, there is dire poverty, and grandparents go hungry so their grandchildren can eat, and so they can go to school (school is free, but the uniform, the exercise books and school dinners are not). We came to Ethiopia to see projects funded by Age UK and Help Age International – projects planned specifically to help grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren. The dignity and fortitude of the grandmothers in overcoming their problems are heart-warming and inspiring. They manage to make a little help go a long way., shocking pink, gold, orange, purple. This, and their smiling faces, make it difficult to remember we’re in the poorest country in Africa. Continue reading “Guest blog – Sponsor a Grandparent”