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African Funding and the G8 Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by skay, Canada Dec 27, 2002
Human Rights   Opinions


During the summer I was inspired to do a little research on the costs of the G8 summit and the amount of money that was being pledged to release Africa from poverty. I was shocked by my findings.
I wrote the following document during the summer after reading about the G8 summit and the cost of the preparations for it. I felt and still feel very strongly about this global issue. I did research to verify that the issues I raise and my concerns are legitimate. I am glad that I now have the opportunity to share this.
The amount of money spent on the organizing of 8 world leaders to meet and discuss the fate of millions of Africans was unnecessary and another insight on how first world countries ignorantly believe their dealings with Africa’s problems such as disease, famine and education, are working. The money spent on the transportation, rooming and feeding of the 8 delegates could have been put towards the cause instead of the discussing of the cause. How can George W. Bush be dedicated to ending world hunger, terrorism and disease when the United States military is one of the top funded in the world? For the price of a missile a school full of hungry children could eat lunch for 5 years everyday.
Throughout the 1990’s more than 100 million children died from illness and starvation. Those 100 million deaths could have been prevented for the price of ten Stealth bombers, or what the world spends on its military in two days! There is no more need for discussion, when a house is burning to the ground people don’t sit around and discuss what to do; they quickly assemble themselves in the most efficient ways in order to salvage as much possible. Or they run!
In 1997 alone, the lives of at least 300,000 young children were saved by vitamin A supplementation programmes in developing countries. Each leader could have signed checks for billions of dollars and sent them to existing corporations and aid programs that need the extra funding so that they can maximize their efforts. Is it not the responsibility of the well-educated to help those less fortunate than they? To satisfy the world’s sanitation and food requirements would cost only US$13 billion, what the people of the United States and the European Union spend on perfume each year.
The extinction of our species is going to happen rapidly if those that have the power to do something don’t step up now and start contributing their invaluable resources. Would it not be ironic if the world stood by and watched the extinction of our species begin first in the birthplace of humanity? After all those people are allowed to wither away and die, then what would happen? People would continue on, but slowly and surely the threat of extinction would begin to plague the rest of the world. Soon all that would be left would be the first world powers. But they too would fall to extinction before long. We could actually be the first species to bring about our own extinction. However, nobody will be around to witness it.
Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. For the approximated 16 hours the G8 summit was held about 16 000 people perished due to hunger. The federal government planned to spend CDN$300 million on the G8 summit in Alberta this past June, sources say, and that it was more than half the amount Jean Chrétien had pledged to relieve African poverty. Those numbers only account for Ottawa. If you add the costs of the seven other countries involved one arrives at a sickeningly expensive 4-day meeting.
Listen to them talk at their polished tables through the comforts of your television. However keep in mind that the people they are talking about will most likely never receive a penny from the ones you watch on the television screen deciding their fate. Realize that their fate will one day be your own. What makes you think they will act any differently when it comes to you?

Think Quest: The world hunger problem: Facts, figures and statistics
G8 summit on African poverty to cost $300M
Robert Fife, Ottawa Bureau Chief
National Post
April 13, 2002



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