Starving to death

While you are reading this article, four children in the world have starved to death. A child dies for that reason every five seconds, day and night, day after day. More than five million children in the world starve to death each year. While we sleep each night, 5.760 children starve to death. And every 24 hours, 17,280 of them die. 
We would have to repeat that to ourselves everyday, write it down on the mirror in the bathroom and on the car's windshield. There is no bigger weapon of mass destruction. All the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons together have not produced such a number of victims. And those deaths are the follow-up of civilian and innocent victims' suffering. They are not deaths in the battlefield. They didn't wear khaki or green uniforms. They hadn't threatened anyone nor stolen or looted or participated in terrorist attacks. They are just victims of social terrorism, whose leaders govern the countries, are Parliament members, members of syndicates, universities and of the centers of economic and financial power. Members also of the religious and ideological powers that, being able to report those unjust deaths and to raise against those who could but didn't put a stop to that savagery, limit themselves to censor the use of condoms, abortion and the slightest threat to their power structures. Weren't the children who died human beings?
Nobody can ignore that humanity's and our planet's gravest threat is demographic explosion, with its biodegradation, illness, hunger and wrath sequels. Because some people exploit the earth's riches instead of taking care and serve from them, and they treat humans like merchandise, as potential consumers or as mercenary working force that they shamelessly call "resources" destined to be exploited.
Nobody in his right judgment can claim that "the more children the better because God sends them." Like the Catholic fundamentalists did in Cairo's Summit of 1994, this time allied with the most retrograde Muslims. A responsible maternity and paternity are one of nature's demands that cannot be ignored without paying expensive consequences.
It is an insult to human intelligence that almost one billion people survive in the threshold of poverty. It is a yell that announces the end of some civilizations that were the products of progress and the effort of intelligent and sensitive people that have gone blind in their arrogance. We have more than enough means nowadays to control demographic explosion, the most common diseases, ignorance and wars in the name of a presumed Truth stolen by less that one fifth of humanity.
Forty-eight hours were enough to freeze the bank accounts of terrorism suspects after September 11, which overcame the almighty "bank secret." A firm decision is needed to freeze the bank deposits where the evaded funds of funds whose aid for development we have to face. There is enough money to fund aid for development. It would be enough that all the evaded money that they keep like they guarded the one of terrorism suspects was repatriated. 
The existence of fiscal paradises in which the banks of the richest countries have headquarters to evade taxes and to deal with drugs, arms, raw and strategic materials and to speculate in a way that ruins communities is public and notorious. A more evil crime than terrorism is the crime business that affects millions of innocent beings. The UN could control the end of those fiscal paradises and to reinvest them in a convenient way. The same happens with the increase of number of weapons favored by weapon manufacturers. The main reason is the war on terrorism. Globalization of social justice, of the resources and of the benefits would attack terrorism in its roots.
The same could be said of the 500 billion dollars that are laundered each year in our banks and that come from drug dealing, as the UNDP admitted in a report.
That report calculated 40 billion dollars each year during ten years for the amount needed to give basic education, to guarantee women's reproductive health, basic health and nutrition, as well as clean water and health services for all human beings. Forty billion dollars is the budget that Bush assigns these days to the reorganization of the Intelligence Services in the United States, with more than 100,000 people working for that activity.
Let us start by substituting the concept of "aid" by the one of "due repairing" to the communities that the European and North American ethno-centrists have exploited while we imposed on them an inhumane and alienating development model that "is on the verge of provoking the explosion of a social bomb", like Butros Galli reported in Copenhagen's Summit of 1995. 
The main challenge of our time is to invert the growing polarization between those who have and those who don't. The base of a new development model must support itself in the approach to development departing from Human Rights: to fulfill the economic, social and cultural rights is unavoidable. It's necessary to stabilize financial markets to regulate their volatility. Governments should give the UN a mandate to establish a tax on monetary transactions to stabilize global financial markets.
If we want, there is money to support a more just social development with more solidarity that prevents situations as inhumane and explosive as the ones that the FAO report. Everyone's survival depends on it.

José Carlos Gª Fajardo

Este artículo fue publicado en el Centro de Colaboraciones Solidarias (CCS) en 2006