Population ageing or rapid increase in the number of older people is a global phenomenon. Nations are greying as the elderly population is growing much faster than the overall population due to decreasing fertility and increasing life expectancy. In most of the industrialized world, population ageing has been a gradual process following steady socioeconomic growth over several decades and generations. In the developing countries, the process is being compressed into two or three decades over a single generation. In 2050, there will be two billion people over the age of 60 years, 80% of whom will be living in developing countries. The strategy for active, healthy ageing and old age care in the Eastern Mediterranean Region 2006–2015 outlines strategic directions for Member States and delineates the role of the Regional Office in supporting the Member States in achieving the stated objectives. The strategy is expected to enable senior administrators, policy-makers and decision-makers to face the challenge of population ageing.