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Money Well Spent by Jaraad Samad, United States


If we took less than 2 percent of the money the world spends on military causes, all people living under the poverty line could have two meals a day. FILE/UN Photo/Mark GartenYou are an average American and it is an average day at work. Even after the two large meals you already had today, you are hungry, so you head over to the vending machine. You dig a dollar bill out of your pocket and slip it into the machine. You punch a button and out pops a SNICKERS bar. This will tide you over until dinner, when you will sit down with your wife and kids to a great made meal.

Now you are an American living in poverty. That means that if you were to buy a candy bar from a vending machine, you would have to split it between you and your family, and that would be all you could eat for the rest of the day, unless you were lucky enough to find something that you didn't have to pay for. The next day if you wanted to buy a new pair of socks for your daughter, your whole family would have to go without food for the entire day.

Imagine if this is what your life really was like. Horrible, right? But it happens every day to people living below the poverty line all around the world. More than 1/6 of the global population faces this situation constantly. One in 12 people around the world are malnourished and at least 13 million people die of starvation each year. Many programs have been started to help end poverty, but it is still a huge issue.

I think to help stop poverty and the abuse of this human right, we should redirect money going towards less worthy causes. The way I figure it, assuming that we could feed a person two moderate meals a day for $5 a meal, if we took less than 2% of the money the world spends on military causes, all people living under the poverty line could have two meals a day, as well as the $1 a day they already have, this would only cost the military about 40 surveillance planes' worth and the military would still be getting 769 billion dollars funding!

Excerpted from Jaraad Samad, Age Group 8-12, United States, Highly Commended, Writing Contest for International Human Rights Day 2006, Cyberschoolbus, United Nations