The United Nations has set Millennium Goals for the year 2025. Back in 1970, the rich nations of the world pledged .7% of GNP to help the poor countries combat poverty. Few have actually done so but why is the .7% so important today? Jeffrey Sachs states:
"we are the first generation that can afford to eradicate poverty".
Think of that—the first generation that can afford to eradicate poverty—what a privilege... and what a responsibility.
In 1975, the world economy was half the size it is today and would have required a greater commitment—over 1% of GNP—whereas today the goal of .7% is affordable. Today .7% would provide enough resources to cover all of the Millennium Goals and cut in half extreme poverty by the year 2015 and by 2025 we could end world poverty. However, we, as a world, are failing and despite making progress, have an enormous amount of work that needs to be done.
John Berger, author, said:
"The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich."
Africa Action states that it is a
"system of inequality that dictates that wealth, power and basic human rights is based on race and place. The elite in the rich and powerful countries control the major global decision making bodies—world bank and world trade organization—and preserve this system which works in their favor. They ensure that the privileged citizens of rich countries have more resources and access to human rights than people of poor countries."
The US Army's "Urban Operations Manual," issued September 2006, mentions "weak infrastructures, scarce resources and a fragile economic base" as dangers to our security. Perhaps addressing those sources of despair and resentment would help alleviate the danger to our national security.
And Jeffrey Sachs in The End of Poverty asks:
"Will we have the good judgment to use our wealth wisely, to heal a divided planet, to end the suffering of those trapped in poverty and to forge a common bond of humanity, security, and shared purpose across countries and regions?"
For each $100 earned in the US, only 17 cents is donated in aid (0.17%) while the goal is 0.7%.
Write a letter to the President asking him to honor our o.7% pledge or print and sign a letter from the poverty.com website here.