This Report shows how, after a late decline in fertility relative to South-East Asia and East Asia, South Asia too is set on a course of rapid ageing. The eight countries of South Asia - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - present marked diversity with respect to population size, political structures and levels of human development. In all countries, including Afghanistan where a conflict situation has persisted for the past three decades, the increase in the older population is projected to be far greater than during the past four to five decades.
The Report lays stress on ensuring for older persons an active and healthy life in which their freedoms and dignity are guaranteed within the context of the goal of creating a “society for all ages” endorsed by 159 countries at the Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002. Taking note of how most of the countries of South Asia have, to varying extents, already introduced various measures to address ageing-related issues, the Report puts forward recommendations for improving the effectiveness of relevant policies and programmes.