I have a vision of a world without hunger. And I am committed to ending hunger in our lifetime. Like Gandhi, I know that “this world has enough for every man’s need, but not enough for every man’s greed.”
Meeting the real needs of the poor and hungry simply requires sharing the abundant resources with which we have been so richly blessed. And the amount needed is far less than we might imagine.
A $175 billion a year would easily meet the Millennium Development Goals. That breaks down to less than $250 a year for the 850 million of us that have an above average income (based on the average income of Portugal, the lowest income nation in Europe).
This amount, $175 billion, would allow us to cut the number of poor and hungry in half. Think about it, less than $250 a person could save millions of lives a year and bring even more millions out of the shadow of crushing poverty.
Why don’t we make it happen? Are we too selfish to care? Or is the deeper truth that we are in chains ourselves, too chained by our riches to break free enough to act on behalf of those dying from our refusal to see the truth?
The words of Cyprian, a bishop of Carthage in the third century seem appropriate.
Their property held them in chains…chains which shackled their courage and choked their faith and hampered their judgment and throttled their souls…If they stored up their treasure in heaven, they would not now have an enemy and a thief within their household…They think of themselves as owners, whereas it is they rather who are owned: enslaved as they are to their own property, they are not the masters of their money but its slaves.