Children's conditions. Peace should be used for the children's advantage

Neertoft, S.

Sygeplejersken 90(9): 10


ISSN/ISBN: 0106-8350
PMID: 2343404
Document Number: 363188
It is estimated that about half of the budgets of underdeveloped countries are spent on armaments and repayments of debt. These two essentially unproductive activities cost an average of $500/family in underdeveloped countries each year. At the same time about 8000 children die each day for lack of vaccination. About 7000 children die each day from dehydration as a result of diarrhea and about 6000 children die each day from lung inflammation. The solutions to these health problems are well known and would cost only about what the USSR spends on vodka or what tobacco companies in the US spend on cigarette advertising. It would amount to 10% of the European Economic Community's support to agriculture and about 2% of what developing countries altogether spend on armaments. UNICEF, the UN children's organization, in its 1990 report on the state of the world's children estimates that about 40,000 children die each day worldwide from preventable causes and that many more live undernourished in poor health, physically and mentally unable to sustain the level of capability that they were born with. With military expenditures falling, there is hope that the peace dividend can be diverted to improve the world level of health care. If the debt crisis could be solved, a cut of only 5-10% in military expenditures would produce about $50 billion which could be used in the poorest parts of the world during the next 10 years to cover the most fundamental needs for food, pure drinking water, health care and education.

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