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Ending world poverty

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To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, Sachs calculated that the total cost per year would be about $175 billion. This represents less than one percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world.

In fact, this cost is 0.7% of the total income of the 30 countries who comprised the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2005 when Sachs wrote The End of Poverty. For his calculations, he used the 2002 values for their collective wealth. This is relevant because while there have been some rough economic times since 2002, OECD total income is still somewhat higher now than it was then.

ODA as percentage of gross national income (Wikimedia Commons)

This level of aid has in fact already been promised by the developed nations through the Monterrey Consensus. This consensus guarantees 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) as official development assistance (ODA)1 .

However, fiscal commitments have lagged far behind the agreement. For example, the US only gives 0.18% of GNP as ODA, a much lower value that the Scandinavian countries.

In order for poverty to be ended in the next few decades, the US needs to ramp up to about $75 billion per year in ODA. This would be their contribution if they deliver 0.7% as promised.

The US could end poverty

The United States is spectacularly wealthy. With a GNP in 2009 of about $14 trillion, the US is a huge chunk of the total GNP of the OECD, which is about $40 trillion2 . The sheer size of the US economy means that even though they only give 0.18% of their GNP as ODA, they still give the total money of any nation on the planet.

US Military spending

ODA by country

The military budget in the USA is about $680 billion per year3 . A large amount of other funding is directly connected to military spending in the states, bringing the total closer to $1 trillion per year4 .Even if we assume the lesser of these numbers, annual defense spending in the US is about four times as much money as is needed to begin rapidly ending extreme poverty in the entire world. If some of the US military’s monstrous budget could be channelled towards humanitarian goals, then extreme poverty in our world could quickly become a thing of the past.



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About The Author
Edward Winfrey

Edward S. Winfrey is the Founder/CMO of Nikindi Business Solutions (NBS Global). NBS Global is a marketing Consulting firm located in Chicago Illinois. We at NBS Global specialize in everything in the marketing dimension. We conduct all marketing activities and also function as an external marketing department for some firms. An “external marketing department (EMD)” is when a consultant firm develops a marketing department for the purpose of establishing a marketing department to later turn the duties over to group of new internal employees who will become the primary MKT department once they are trained properly on the new activities, strategies and tactics that were designed and created my the consultant firm.