A billboards project from World Beyond War highlights how little of current U.S. military spending could permanently end hunger and extreme poverty globally.
In 2008, the United Nations said that $30 billion per year could end hunger on earth, as reported in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. The Food and Agriculture Organization has not updated that figure since 2008, and has recently told us that such figures do not require much updating.
In a separate report, most recently published in 2015, the same organization provides a figure of $265 billion as the cost per year for 15 years to permanently eliminate extreme poverty, which would eliminate starvation and malnutrition — a broader project than just preventing starvation one year at a time.
The FAO’s spokesperson informed us in an email: “I think it would be incorrect to compare the two figures as the 265 billion has been calculated taking into consideration a number of initiatives including social protection cash transfers aimed at extracting people from extreme poverty and not just hunger.”
As of 2019, the annual Pentagon base budget, plus war budget, plus nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, plus Homeland Security and other military spending totaled well over $1 trillion.
3% of $1 trillion = $30 billion.
So, 3% of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth.
22% of $1.2 trillion = $265 billion.
So, 22 percent of U.S. military spending for 15 years could permanently end extreme poverty globally.
With the globe spending roughly $2 trillion per year on militarism (roughly half of it by the United States), we can also say that 1.5% of GLOBAL military spending could end starvation on earth.
Original source / Image credit: World Beyond War.org