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    Egyptian president urges measures to tackle overpopulation

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    CAIRO, June 9 (RIA Novosti) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has declared a nationwide campaign to slow down population growth in the Arab world's most populous nation.

    Speaking at a national conference on population, Mubarak urged the government, the private sector, and civil society to take measures against overpopulation - something he called a "major challenge" to the country's development.

    Egypt is suffering from rampant unemployment and some 40 % of the population lives below or $2 per day.

    The 'overpopulation crisis' plan would limit each Egyptian family to two children. Improving the status of women and reducing illiteracy could be also key factors in reducing the population growth rate, Mubarak said.

    The country's population, currently put at 78.7 million, could more than double to 160 million by 2050, with an annual increase of 1.3 million, according to a UN report.

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