The World has made it clear- military spending is more important than ending child poverty!
Let’s face this terrifying fact: 2.50 $ a day, is what half of the world’s population lives on; meanwhile world military spending can reach 1.756 trillion a year(Shah, 2016). Greedy countries are investing in expensive war instead of focusing on ending one of the most urgent issue in the global political economy today—child poverty. What does that say about the world we are living in? The answer is that we are living in an unfair greedy world.
Daily 22,000 children die because of poverty. In developing countries 27-28 percent of the children are underweight, and Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia stands for the biggest percentage of malnourished children. If the world spent one per cent of what it spent annually on weapons, every child would have the possibility to enrol in school (Shah, 2016). So there are solutions to end poverty, but the avaricious countries are not giving 100% to humanity to do it. The United Nations’ Millennium Development Goal 2, which was about ensuring for all children worldwide the ability to complete primary school, failed its mission. It is frustrating to know that 164 countries agreed to achieve it, and only one-third managed to do it (Chonghaile, 2015). Shame on you!
In 2015, the United States spent $598.5 billion on military spending (National Priorities Project, 2016), even though child poverty is a huge issue in the country. Twenty-one percent of the children in the US live in families with incomes under the federal poverty threshold which means 1 child in 5 lives in child poverty(Nccp.org, 2016). The children’s parents are either unemployed or have low-wage work with unstable employment. Poverty affects children’s capacity to learn and leads to behavioural, social and emotional problems. Children are the future of the world, and therefore we have to nurture, educate and take care of them. Yes- the United States is a rich nation but it clearly shows what it prioritizes. Instead of spending that much on military, it should be spending it on ending its child poverty. Okay, I get it, you want to gain and gain, but the soldiers you are relying on, weren’t they once children as well?
Countries today are greedy power-monsters. It is sad to know that the solutions exist for reducing and ending child-poverty, but nothing is done. If the world would agree to reduce military spending for the coming years, child poverty would be ended. Let’s not forget the arms industry that is a huge winner in expanding its business. The United States is the world’s largest arms exporter, followed by Russia on the second place and China on the third. A crazy fact is that the United States stands for 33 percent of the arm exports globally (United Press International, 2016). So, having a high number of child-poverty in the country, and putting the focus on military spending and weapon exporting, that shows how lovely and caring the country is towards its’ citizens. A ´´bright´´ future is awaiting.
By: Marjam Chahrour
Middlesex University Dubai