Wed Jan 2nd, 2008 at 01:08:42 PM EST
Go visit FreeRice!
(Cross-posted from Booman Tribune, but applies as much in Europe.)
A great thank you to Renee in Ohio who posted a link in this comment a few days ago. curly and I spent some time at the link Saturday morning and achieved a decent number of rice grains donated. Go have some fun! Challenge yourself to see which level you can reach. You may have a hard time leaving once you get started, but your new addiction is all for a good cause.
Today, I was back at the site (yes; bookmarked) and spent some time looking at the FAQ's, etc. - which led me to the Totals page.
Total Donations by Date
Date Grains of Rice
OCTOBER 2007 537,163,380
NOVEMBER 2007 4,768,969,790
DECEMBER 2007 6,948,988,060
January 1, 2008 114,143,280
Total All Dates 12,369,264,510
FreeRice began on October 7, 2007.
Please head over and see if you can add a couple of thousand grains to the total.
But the Totals page also led me to another link with information that may be familiar to many of us, but presented very clearly.
International Aid ― A Solution
Quick Summary: Almost all of the deaths from hunger and disease that you see on this site can be stopped. The cost to do this is about $195 billion a year, according to the United Nations. Twenty-two developed countries below have pledged to work towards each giving 0.7% (a little less than 1%) of their national income in international aid, which would raise the $195 billion. Some countries are slow to meet their pledge.
2006 International Aid Donated COUNTRY Aid as % of income How close to the
Sweden 1.03 Already reached goal
Luxembourg 0.89 Already reached goal
Norway 0.89 Already reached goal
Netherlands 0.81 Already reached goal
Denmark 0.80 Already reached goal
Ireland 0.53 Scheduled for 2012
United Kingdom 0.52 Scheduled for 2013
Belgium 0.50 Scheduled for 2010
Austria 0.48 Scheduled for 2015
France 0.47 Scheduled for 2012
Switzerland 0.39 No schedule yet
Finland 0.39 Scheduled for 2010
Germany 0.36 Scheduled for 2014
Spain 0.32 Scheduled for 2012
Canada 0.30 No schedule yet
Australia 0.30 No schedule yet
New Zealand 0.27 No schedule yet
Japan 0.25 No schedule yet
Portugal 0.21 Scheduled for 2015
Italy 0.20 Scheduled for 2015
United States 0.17 No schedule yet
Greece 0.16 Scheduled for 2015
Now, that is disappointing! Only five of the 22 countries that pledged to grant a paltry 0.7% of GDP to combat poverty at the Monterrey Conference in 2002 - and reaffirmed it at the Johannesburg Summit later the same year have actually achieved the goal.
Some nations are lagging the objective by way too much; it is shameful to see that so many rich nations have not even achived 0.5% of GDP.
But we can all do something about that - FreeRice has an action page adapted for each of the 22 countries. Check the link and find a form letter.
Rather than sending a form letter to The White House (if you are in the US), you could adapt the letter and send it to your local congress critters.
There is probably no better way of 'spreading democracy' than to help people in abject poverty develop out of that situation. Nothing beats food security and (very) basic health services in promoting peace.
Go check it out!