As the Dalai Lama says, "Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation," but "human to human."
By the end of the evening, an estimated 25,000 children will have died from malnutrition (UNICEF). One billion children live in poverty world wide. Over 13 million children lived in poverty in 2007 in America alone--before the recession. As children die in masses from malnutrition, our government sits unresponsive. Meanwhile, over 44 percent of tax dollars are allocated to the military budget. Based on the CIA Factbook, the U.S. Military Budget for 2008 was 623 billion dollars. The rest of the world's combined military budgets reached only 500 billion dollars.
With over 37 million people in the United States living in poverty and over 3 billion people living on less than $2 per day world wide, America must answer the call for action. By lowering the military budget by one percent and dedicating the savings to poverty response spending, America can save millions of children worldwide from the quiet and lingering death of hunger. The funds would be allocated by the government to World Centers of Compassion for Children International, who would then distribute the money to organizations who have a direct need to help children in danger which may result from the war-torn situations, extreme poverty, inadequate access to safe water, etc. To receive the funds, these organizations would provide a proposal of how much money is needed and their desired results.
The goal of World Centers of Compassion for Children International is to have every country lower their military budgets one percent for this cause. As one of the wealthiest nations in the world, America should lead this initiative. Because our military budget already far surpasses that of any other country in the world, a one percent decrease would offer no threat to national security, but would greatly influence the lives of countless children across the globe.
We have sat idly and watched the tragedies of our time unfold for too long; it is time to intervene. It is time to stand for the values we claim to hold most dear, and move to defend the least of these among us. We are called to action by the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu who says, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." Time for action is now. Sign this petition, and let's work together for change.