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SARAJEVO, 11 July 2010— This July 11 marks 21 years since World Population Day, established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme, seeking to raise awareness of global population issues in relation to development.

UNFPA assists countries in a number of areas, from data collection, analysis and dissemination to participation in national, regional and global policy dialogues. UNFPA has provided key support to BiH’s statistical institutions in planning and preparing for the next Population and Housing Census in BiH.

The Project Document, as a result of that support, serves as a basis for Census planning, preparation, future undertaking and resource mobilization.

The last Population and Housing Census in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been carried out in 1991. Since then, there have been massive population movements and changes, primarily as a result of war. Currently, population size estimates for BiH range from 3,2 to 3,8 millions, but it cannot be established for certain as there is a lack of reliable and comprehensive data.

Without comprehensive and detailed data on the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina it is also difficult to execute effective policy, planning and decision making for further development.

The UNFPA BiH Assistant Representative, Mr. Faris Hadrovic stated: “Census in Bosnia and Herzegovina is important because it will provide a wealth of data which BiH currently lacks. Current population statistics are essential for planning the provision of health care, education, employment, etc. For reasons of regional and international comparability it would be ideal that the Census is undertaken as part of the next round of Population and Housing Censuses in 2011.”

The UNFPA in Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to provide technical assistance to BiH’s statistical institutions for preparing and carrying out the next Census in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Data makes a difference! It can make a positive impact on policies and programmes that improve peoples’ lives”, said Mr. Hadrovic.