Copyright 2005 Ofer Shoshani
This week Live 8 mega-event turned our attention to problem of poverty. We learned that a child dies from it every three seconds. While we wait for world to finally do something in order to save African kids, we should look closely at statistics and true extent of international poverty.
The distribution of Global Capital
Half world, nearly three billion people, lives on less than two dollars a day. 1.3 billion people live on $1/day. The Gross Domestic Product of 48 poorest nations, i.e. a quarter of world’s countries, is less than wealth of world’s three richest people combined. The 48 poorest countries account for less than 0.4 per cent of global exports.
The richest 50 million people in Europe and North America have same income as 2.7 billion poor People. The combined wealth of world’s 200 richest people hit $1 trillion in 1999; combined income of 582 million people living in 43 least developed countries is $146 billion.
The current LIVE 8 campaign is trying to eliminate debt catastrophe: developing world spends $13 on debt repayment for every $1 they have received in aid. The poorer country, more likely it is that debt repayments are extracted directly from people who neither contracted loans nor received any of money. As a result of debt catastrophe, millions of children have died each year because their government couldn’t reduce poverty levels.
For example, lives of 1.7 million children have been needlessly lost in year 2000 because world governments have failed to reduce poverty levels