• Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How Much Would You Give to Decrease World Poverty?

Voice of America logoImage via WikipediaThe Voice of America posted an interesting article yesterday titled, "Hunger Poll Indicates Widespread Global Support for Millennium Development Goals." The poll was conducted by World Public Opinion for the Washington-based Program for International Policy Attitudes.

The first goal is to cut hunger and poverty in half by 2015. The World Bank estimates the annual cost of achieving this goal at $39 billion. People in twenty countries were asked if they would give a specific amount annually to make MDG #1 a reality. Here's how they came up with the dollar amount for people from each country: "the pollsters used an accepted World Bank estimate of $39 billion and divided it proportionally according to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and population sizes of the countries being polled." The result: Americans in the survey were asked to donate $56 annually per person. People in Turkey were asked to give $11, reflecting the much smaller size of its economy. Other countries: Britain - $49, France - $45, Germany - $43, Italy - $39, South Korea - $23, Russia - $11.

The end result of the survey was that the majority of people surveyed said they were willing to contribute necessary funds - good news!

Here's the challenging news, according to the article:
"Thursday in Rome, World Food Program director Jacques Diouf remarked that donor countries have made good on only 10 percent of a $22 billion aid package pledged for this year to help starving nations. He and others urged wealthy nations not to cancel aid or limit trade in ways that hurt poor countries. While US and European financial institutions begin to implement substantially larger-scale government rescue commitments to remedy the current economic crisis, Ramsay says the process of galvanizing public consensus behind such complex, multi-faceted initiatives takes significant time to develop. In contrast, he believes his new poll bears out that the public mind-set across cultures firmly accepts the moral responsibility for advanced societies to help the poor fight hunger and poverty.


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