Poland must take action amid population decline: minister

The Polish government has unveiled plans to help the country ward off a looming demographic disaster that could see its population drop from 38 million to 16 million by the year 2100, according to the UN forecasts.

Marlena Maląg, the family and social policy minister, told the Polish public radio PR24 that the government has prepared a strategy to “change the demographic trends in Poland”.

“The demographic strategy comprises support for families and removing barriers that prevent young people from getting married and taking the decision to have children,” Ms Maląg said. In her opinion, to do this, the central and local governments need to align their policies.

Furthermore, the minister announced that the programme “Family Care Capital”, which is to be launched at the beginning of next year, has been submitted to social and inter-ministerial consultations. According to the ministry, it will be “another milestone on the way to strengthening Polish families”.

“Parents will receive PLN 12,000, which they will be able to use, according to their own arrangements, to cover the costs of care for their second child between the 12th and 36th month of life,” the Ministry wrote on its website.

Other government initiatives that can improve the situation include government-subsidised down-payments to help families purchase homes, flexible working time and employment guarantees.

However, the proposals are still at the consultation stage so it could take months before they are implemented, and they might not proceed smoothly.