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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » New report on child poverty, hunger, disease

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Author Topic: New report on child poverty, hunger, disease
Zyne
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UNICEF has published a new report (.pdf) on the state of our world's children. Some findings:

~ Nearly half of them live in poverty.
~ One third live without adequate shelter.
~ One fifth have no access to clean water.
~ 3,900 children die daily (1.4 million yearly) due to lack of water and sewers.
~ Life expectancy of a child both in Japan: 82 years. Of a child born in Zambia: 33 years.

Not surprisingly, the major source of these and other bad facts are developing countries.

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WarrsawPact
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... and it's all our fault!

I'm going to go do something about this right now!

... right after I get my Nikes on. I buy them to support the financial development of children in Malaysia.

Seriously, though. Wealth redistribution. Think about it.

[Roll Eyes]

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ATW
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We're making progress. Seems like not so very long ago UNICEF was telling me over half of the world's children lived in poverty. Under half: woo hoo!!!


Hey, and don't scoff at Malaysian Nikes. Buying products from under-developed nations is very helpful.

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Kent
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It is horrible. I was in Haiti for about three weeks this year and it is heartbreaking to see naked children and know that there is almost no chance for a better future for them. The challenge the UN has is that it is too big to get anything done without lots of corruption and other problems being created as a result of creating a state of dependence. The culture of "the big man" in most developing countries is really what kills progress, meaning the man with the power can make up his own rules. Haiti, for example, threw off their French masters only to enslave each other ever since.

I say, focus on saving one individual at a time from poverty in this world and then you may have hope for changing cultures of suppression.

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Godot
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Paul O'Neill estimated that it would only cost $25m to get clean water for the people of Uganda (as one example).

Clean water would cost a pittance of the current foreign aid and would reap tremendous health benefits for the peoples of the world.

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Jesse
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The UN estimates 50 Billion to provide clean water to 98% of humanity, followed by 10 billion a year to maintain it.

It's called enlightened self interest. Who wants to commit suicide to kill a citizen of the nation that ended cholera outbreaks in their village?

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carmachu
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quote:
The UN estimates 50 Billion to provide clean water to 98% of humanity, followed by 10 billion a year to maintain it.


Is that before or after the UN officals skim off the top to line their pockets?

Problem is, after the oil for food scandal, how can you trust them to manage that amount of money?


carmachu

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Sancselfieme
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After scandals have taken place within the US government, how can we trust them to collect taxes?

Times and staff change, corruption goes away.

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Everard
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"Times and staff change, corruption goes away."

Welllll. Minimizes.

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Jesse
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Who the hell said anything about allowing them to handle the money?

We've done good things without the UN before, and there is a certain advantage to allowing them to dilute the credit.

So, why try to derail a thread into another UN scandal discussion? We've got several of those going.

I guess frank discussion about how spending dollars on peace can prevent war just doesn't fit some peoples agenda, hence the attempt at derailing.

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Rockeye
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Back in the mid 90's I was winding down my time in the US Army Reserve. I went to Guatemala one summer for my two-week active-duty gig as part of a mission lasting at least six months. Troops would rotate in and rotate out but were performing essentially the same mission.
We were building schools and drilling wells for the locals. The locals liked the school houses just fine, but the wells delivering safe water were nothing short of a miracle for these very poor people. Talking with the SEABEEs operating one of the drilling rigs, he told me that the well they were drilling at that particular site would've cost at least 50,000 USD. I guess punching a 500-foot deep hole through volcanic rock doesn't come cheap. Something so basic as pure water is so easily taken for granted here in the US, but its serious business elsewhere. Since there was a civil war going on at the time, when we left the various jobsites each evening the rebels would sneak back in and check to see how well we were are armed, who was armed, our schedules, etc. Some US Special Forces guys were out keeping an eye on them but I rather doubt that we were ever really in any danger. Like someone above said, who's going to interfere with us drilling wells for everyone; rebel and reactionary alike?

As an aside, I don't know how the UN came up with those figures; 50 Billion USD sounds awfully light. The well pumps themselves were manually pumped "United Nations Approved Humanitarian" models. They required three strong men and two medium-sized children to pump water. Not that I saw any men doing any pumping.

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Everard
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Well, 50 billion divided by 500,000, is about 100,000 wells. As you said, yours was an expensive well. If you figure the average cost is 1/10th that, 1 million wells at, figure 1000 people per well, thats 1 billion people you could provide fresh water for.

I know that the well I might need to drill in the near future is only 2-3k dollars, so I think an average cost of 50,000 is probably about right, when you take into account the ones going through 500 feet of rock.

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towellman
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"Who wants to commit suicide to kill a citizen of the nation that ended cholera outbreaks in their village?"

It's not just Cholera, although that one gets good press. Access to deep-well drinking water prevents people or their animals from contaminating the water supply and allow the earth to filter the bugs that may slip by. That would prevent most fecal-to-oral transmitted diseases such as e.coli, viral GI diseases and a half dozen worms and protozoan diseases that pop up or are endemic in various areas of the world.

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The Drake
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Maybe the kids could get corporate sponsors. Give em all a Microsoft tee. The company gets good press, the kids would have clothes.

Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. We live in Bizarro world, where such a company would be crucified in the press for exploiting the kids as walking ads.

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Jesse
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Remember, we have clean potable water for about 80% already according to the UN.

They are talking about supplying it too 98% of the population, so that's just over a billion people.

A lot of those people already have access to water, but lack filtration. Heck, for 100 bucks you can get a ceramic filter/pump that will move about half a gallon a minute.

I don't think their figure is really out of line for the goals stated. In terms of cost/benefit, it would have more than paid off for us to do it as a solo project during the 1990's, but we really don't have that option with our current financial situation.

In the future, however, after the war in middle east is over and if our economy continues to improve, several hundred thousand wells all over the world with plaques in both english and the local language reading "Provided by the People of the U.S. for the health and safety of the People of Village X" wouldn't be a waste at all.

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WarrsawPact
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We're already building wells all over the Middle East and Africa right now as part of our PR campaign. Our military's doing it.
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