SustainabilitySocial Issues

Only $30 Billion Required to End World Hunger

According to EcoSalon and the National Priorities Project, the USA alone in 2010 spent an astounding $540 billion dollars on “Global Military and Arms Trade Expenditures.” While this may sound confounding, it merely means that USA spent over half a trillion dollars on war — in just one year.

If that isn’t enough, the United States Department of Warheads spends over $23.4 billion per year just to develop and maintain nuclear warheads, and another astonishing $1.28 trillion in the so-called “War on Terror.”  This seemingly popular idea of misusing money amongst politicians carries into sports as well. As of 2006, while NBA players get paid a collective amount of over $523 billion, several MLB players are signed contracts of over $100 million each — to stand around in uniforms catching baseballs.

Only $30 Billion Required to End World Hunger

What’s more important — military spending or putting an end to world hunger? (Image Source: Borgen Magazine)

World hunger has been a global issue we have ignored for several hundred years — a seemingly unconquerable threat that doesn’t immediately affect us. The sordidness of reality may not be evident, but unfortunately the truth is that over one billion people are afflicted by this problem of world hunger. Children and adults alike survive in sweltering climates sleeping on empty stomachs for extended periods of time, hopelessly awaiting what even the lucky individuals like us would consider miracles. Clean water and the access to food, something the average Canadian takes for granted, are perhaps their only dreams. But really, is world hunger conquerable? Or is it one of those helpless causes better left to the idealistic?

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it would only take $30 billion dollars a year to launch and maintain the necessary agricultural programs to completely solve this epidemic. Despite all other expenses discussed, $30 billion still seems a huge amount. While that may be true, it is very much in reach considering that USA spends trillions on war, and that the residents of the United Kingdom create over $32 billion CAD worth of wasted food each year.

30 billion — that’s it. If it’s that easy, one wonders why the countries of the UN cannot collectively fund a plan to at least initiate the solution to this ever-growing problem. $30 billion is a little over three dollars per person in the world, and if that’s all it takes, everyone must do their part. One would be surprised at how easy it is, and how much just one ordinary individual can do to help.

Written by Umar Bhutta, originally published on SUFC.