Monday, September 12, 2005

The 2005 World Summit

The 2005 World Summit begins at the United Nations on Wednesday. The meeting of world leaders is designed to provide an opportunity to take stock and renew the commitment of the international community to the Millennium Development Goals.

In tomorrow's New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof fires a shot across the bow of the world's leaders for their failure to address global poverty. He points out that the recently released Human Development Report "notes that the U.S. and other rich countries seem unwilling to provide a total of $7 billion annually for the next decade to provide 2.6 billion people with access to clean drinking water," an investment that "would save 4,000 lives a day" at a cost that is "less than Europeans spend on perfume--or than Americans spend on cosmetic surgery." The report also notes that "annual world spending to fight AIDS amounts to three days of military expenditures."

This might be a good time to ask how much money the government of the United States contributes each year in overseas development assistance. As a percentage of gross domestic income, is it closest to

  • 2 percent?
  • 1 percent?
  • 0.1 percent?
  • 0.02 percent?

You can find the answer in Kristof's column--or you can check back here tomorrow.