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The World at 7 billion campaign has wound up today with the recognition of the 7th Billion baby from Ethiopia at a ceremony held at Gandhi Memorial Hospital. UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, has been undertaking the campaign together with various partners since the commemoration of the World Population Day on July 11 this year.

The campaign was aimed at highlighting the challenges, opportunities and actions that will shape our common future in the context of the world population reaching 7 billion on October 31. The campaign undertaken with the motto 7 Billion Thoughts and Actions promoted dialogue on what it means to live in a world with so many people and encourage action on issues that affect us all.

Globally, population has doubled since 1968 and grown by almost 40 per cent since reaching 5 billion in 1987. Growth will continue at least until mid-century despite dramatic declines in the average number of children per woman, according to the UN Population Division. Nearly all of this population growth-97 of every 100 people-is occurring in less developed countries. Gaps between rich and poor are growing. And more people than ever are vulnerable to food insecurity, water shortages and weather-related disasters. Meanwhile, many rich and middle-income countries are concerned about low fertility, declining populations and ageing.

The World at 7 Billion Campaign has been a collaborative call to action on the challenges and opportunities presented by a world of 7 billion people. It used new partnerships, technologies and social media to spur commitment and action. Individuals, organizations and communities participated in a variety of ways, from telling their unique stories to carrying out specific actions.

The World at 7 Billion Campaign promoted seven key messages namely reducing poverty and inequality; unleashing the power of women and girls; investing in young people; ensuring reproductive health and rights; environmental sustainability; aging populations; and urban growth. The campaign has been undertaken with a number of media and advocacy activities.

A prize was awarded to the first baby born at Ghandi Hospital as a gesture of recognition. In addition to the recognition of the baby 7th billion in Addis Ababa ceremonies will be held in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, and Tigray regions to recognize and give prize to babies born first in each region.