“Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”
Dwight Eisenhower 1953
What ten percent of the world’s annual arms budget could buy in the space of a few years.
- 2 ½ To provide family planning and health care for all mothers.
- 6 ½ billion To clean up the world’s air and soil and prevent further pollution.
- 5 ½ billion To provide clean water for the 2 billion people who do not have it; this would help prevent diseases such as cholera and hookworm.
- 2 ½ billion To provide basic health care for country areas in the Third World.
- 4 ½ billion To develop renewable energy sources such as: solar energy, water and wind power, and to restock forests.
- 4 ½ billion To provide basic training in work skills for the 50 million young people who start work each year.
- 3 billion To research and develop low-cost technology which would save on oil and use of local resources.
- 6 ½ billion To provide schools and teachers for the for the 50% of children in the Third World who never have the chance of going to school.
- 6 billion To provide a long term food aid program which would solve the problems of malnutrition.
- 2 ½ billion To teach everyone to read and write.
- 7 billion To aid the world’s small farmers with better seeds, fertilizers and irrigation. This alone would provide much more food for those who need it.
- 3 billion To save a million lives in Africa alone; by draining swamps and providing medicines to get rid of malaria everywhere.
Source: The 10 percent programme adopted from Ruth Sivard, World Social and Military expenditures, 1979.