The Common Good
March 2005

Feed Your Kids!

by Rose Marie Berger, Mark Betz | March 2005


Rich countries have fallen deplorably short of their U.N. Millennium Development Goals to cut global poverty in half by 2015, according to "Paying the Price: Why Rich Countries Must Invest Now in a War on Poverty," a report released by Oxfam in December. In 1970, the United Nations set a target that 0.7 percent of the wealthiest countries' national incomes be set aside for global poverty reduction. If accomplished, the $120 billion generated could meet the development goals. Only five of the 22 wealthiest nations have met their goal-none of them from the G7 countries. "The world's poorest children are paying for rich countries' polices on aid and debt with their lives," said Oxfam director Barbara Stocking.

  • 45 million: The number of children who will die unnecessarily by 2015 if current giving trends of rich nations continue.
  • $120 billion: The total amount needed to halve poverty by 2015.
  • $616 billion: The annual military spending of rich countries.
  • $1.53: The amount rich countries spend on foreign aid per person per week, equal to the cost of a cup of coffee.
  • 0.14: The percent of national income the United States allocated for foreign aid in 2003, equaling one-tenth of U.S. spending in Iraq.

Source: "Paying the Price: Why Rich Countries Must Invest Now in a War on Poverty" (Oxfam International, December 2004).

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