Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The G8 Approaches

Well, the G8 is almost upon us. The rock stars have made their noise, so I guess I should make mine too. I will insert my thoughts in the coming days. I will start with the case as laid out at http://www.one.org

AIDS More than 38 million people around the world are infected by HIV/AIDS, 25 million in Africa alone. Left untreated, AIDS leads to an early death for people in their most productive years who are needed to raise crops and families, teach school and care for the sick. For more information about global AIDS click here.

EXTREME POVERTY Extreme poverty means living on less than $1 a day, unimaginable to us as Americans. ONE in five people around the world survives on this amount, with few opportunities to earn more. For more information about extreme poverty click here.

EDUCATION Parents in Malawi know just as well as parents in Missouri that education is crucial to their children's future. But around the world, 104 million children do not go to grade school, because their parents cannot afford fees, books or uniforms for all their children. For more information about getting children into school click here.

WATER ONE person in seven has no access to clean water for drinking, cooking or washing. In addition to spreading disease, this has multiple negative effects –– girls growing up in villages without water are far less likely to attend school because they're too busy spending hours walking to and from the nearest water source. For more information about clean water click here.

CORRUPTION While corruption is harmful to all governments, losing resources to corrupt leaders is particularly devastating in poor countries where ever dollar lost results in one less child in school or one less well dug to provide clean water. Approaches like America's Millennium Challenge which direct assistance to honest governments are the most effective, as is channeling assistance through private (and faith-based) relief and development agencies. For more information about fighting corruption in the poorest countries click here.

FOOD Around the world, ONE person in seven goes to bed hungry each night. We need to address hunger not just by giving food, but helping farmers in poor countries grow better crops and helping countries build farm-to-market roads so farmers can supply distant cities. For more information about hunger click here.

ORPHANS 18 million children have already lost one or both parents to AIDS, 12 million of them are in Africa alone. Unless more is done, there will be 25 million of these children around the world by 2010. We have the opportunity to help. For more information about orphans, click here.

TRADE As much as people in poor countries appreciate development assistance, no one wants to rely on a handout –– they want to trade their way out of poverty –– but international rules make it difficult. A fair trade system would give people in poor countries the chance to earn their way out of poverty by participating in the world economy. For more information about trade rules click here.

DEBT CANCELLATION Every year Sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region of the world, spends $14.5 billion dollars repaying debts to the world's richest countries and international institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Though we've made efforts to relieve them of these unpayable debts, many poor countries still spend more each year on debt than on health care or education. For more information about debt cancellation click here.

Not an original start to my blog... but so what!

In the coming months you will be able to come to this blog and find a cynical and blunt perspective of politics, the United States and the world in general.

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