The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Balancing Equations

One of the important rules of mathematics that we learn early in our school life is that both sides of an equation must balance.  For example 2 + 2 = 4, or 6 x 5 = 30.  When the equation doesn’t balance it is known as an inequality.

Let’s apply this basic understanding to this equation:

22.6 + 30 + 26 + 24 + 5.9 + 24.6 + 6 = 1,767

It doesn’t balance does it?  It’s an inequality.

What do these figures represent?  Let’s take the left hand side of the equation first.

The cost of supplying clean and safe water and sanitation to everyone in the world is estimated at $22.6 billion each year for five years1.

The cost of eradicating extreme hunger is estimated at $30 billion per year.2

The extra money needed annually to provide access to primary education for all children is estimated at $26 billion.3

The cost of preventing HIV/Aids is estimated at $24 billion per year.4

The cost of first line treatment of malaria is estimated at $5.9 billion.5

The cost of providing universal maternal health care in developing countries is estimated at $24.6 billion.6

The cost of saving the deaths of two million children each year from pneumonia and diarrhoea is estimated to cost $6 billion.7

If you add all those together you get $139.1 billion.  That doesn’t equal $1,767.

So, what does the 1,767 represent.  That is the amount that the world spent on it’s militaries in 2014 – $1,767 billion!  In one year.8

Talk about an inequality.

The nature of estimation is, of course, open to debate and error.  However, it cannot be argued that even considering that there will be errors, the inequality is glaring.  So too is the immorality of it.

1. World Health Organisation (WHO)
2. Speech by Director-General (Jacques Diouf) of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 2008.
3. The Guardian, November 2013, quoting UNESCO report.
4. AVERT (an international charity working in the HIV/Aids sector, based in UK), 2013.
5. Global Malaria Action Plan, Roll Back Malaria.
6. Adding It Up, UN Population Fund and Guttmacher Institute, 2009
7. Ending Preventable Child Deaths From Pneumonia and Diarrhoea by 2025, WHO/UNICEF
8. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2014.

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