November 11, 2002
Are you Awake? Aware?
- Over the last 20 years, at the same time that the world economy increased exponentially, the number of people living in poverty grew to more than 1.2 billion, or ONE in FIVE persons, including more than 600 MILLION children.
- Worldwide, 250,000 children die EACH DAY from preventable diseases. That is: 1 child dies every 10 seconds due to a lack of clean water. 1 child every 5 seconds dies due to malnourishment.
- In South Asia, 20-40 million children are in 'debt bondage'. The children, unimaginably, can be sold for employment at factories or as domestic servants to pay off the debts of their parents. The debts, though, are usually incurred from the purchase of seeds or shelter. Most often, individual children are unable to work hard enough for enough hours or years to pay off the debt. Thus, other children within the family may be employed as well OR, the debt can be passed down for generations.
- The 200 richest people in the world have more than doubled their net worth between 1994 and 1998 to more than $1 TRILLION. BUT, at the same time, more than 1.2 billion people live on less than $1 a year, more than 600 million of them are children.
- Nearly half of the population in Indonesia cannot afford adequate food.
- The world economy is $25 trillion. Universal access to basic social services would require less than .2% of the world economy.
- In parts of Latin America, the poorest 20% share less than 3% of the national income.
- In New York City, the percentage of children born into poverty rose from 44 to 52% during the period from 1990-1996, a 20% increase. The number of homeless children rose 21% in the same period.
- 90% of wars victims are civilians-mainly women and children.
- 1 in 4 children live with the ominous, ever present him of violence that might erupt at any moment.
- During a trip to the Sudan in 1997, a United Nations landmine assessment team found landmines from Belgium, China, Czechoslovakia, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Italy, and the United States.
- Zambia has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world; yet, resources to combat the disease are being hamstrung by foreign debt. Debt servicing, amounting to $100 million a year, accounts for more than the Zambian government budget for health AND education services COMBINED.
- There are over 100 million unexploded landmines in 64 countries around the world (and the number keeps growing as more are planted, especially in India and Pakistan). In 1997, 123 nations signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and their Destruction. The United States did not sign. Afghanistan is now one of the most heavily mined countries in the world.
- Children in Columbia are the main victims of the war AND are among the chief perpetrators of violence, as more than 2000 of them under the age of 15 have been recruited into guerrilla and paramilitary organizations.
- In the rural areas in Moçambique, the average distance a person must travel to a doctor is 45.5 kilometers. Only 12% of the rural population has access to safe drinking water.
- 4 billion people live in the developing world. On average, they consume 2500 calories a day. The average person in the United States consumes 3600 calories every day.
- The number of children orphaned by AIDS in Africa is equal to the number of children in the public school system in the United States.