G20 "Meeting" the Children
By Teddy Aksel

June 28, 2011

1.2 billion dollars spent on the G20 Summit. For 72 hours of their lives, world leaders sit in the most expensive meeting ever. 1.2 billion dollars spent so a bunch of people can sit down in chairs and talk. 1.2 billion$ so the world leaders donít have to spend a couple of days away from their already spoiled lives. But letís see what 1.2 billion dollars can do for people around the world that actually need money:
1 water well costs $4,500 with The Water Project organization. This one well can serve up to 2,000 people who donít have clean water to drink without one, and will probably suffer from malnutrition. For 1.2 billion dollars you can buy 266,666 (two hundred and sixty six thousand six hundred and sixty six) water wells which can serve 533.3 million people, 533,332,000 (five hundred and thirty three million three hundred and thirty three thousand) to be exact. Now letís look at the numbers. 400 million children living in the developing world have no access to safe water. 1.4 million of those die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water. This yearís G20 is worth more than 1.4 million children each year. And just as a side note, 1.1 billion people live without access to clean drinking water. The money spent on the G20 summit can provide water for just under half the people who live without it. So far the G20 is more important than 1.1 billion people living without water.
The approximate cost to build and supply a school (with lunch program for six months, school supplies, a teacher and furniture) is 20,000 dollars. This includes furniture and supplies. Each school can hold up to a thousand students. With the money spent by the G20 summit, you can buy 60,000 schools which can educate 60 million (60,000,000) students. Now letís look at the numbers. 121 million children are not enrolled in school. 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world are not enrolled in school. With the money spent on the G20 summit, we can provide education for half of all children not in school worldwide, as well as 83% of children of primary school age in developing countries. Letís not under-look a few things. The children who are in developing countries who are not in school, are probably working in a dangerous factory or mine for next to nothing because their family canít afford them not to be working. If the schools were built, thatís approximately 60,000 less child workers. Considering there is an approximate 158 million children aged 5-14 that are child labourers that would be a significant cut. You may be thinking that it would hurt the families because they wouldnít get the income that the child worker provided, but when you look at the fact that the school will be providing food, thatís one cost that you can cut off the list for parents. Also when the student graduates, they can get a job that pays them a considerably larger amount that what they are paid as a child worker, which can help move the family out of poverty.
These are just two of the many problems faced every day by people in developing nations. Many more including lack of shelter, food, medical attention, and even clothing.
According to United Press International the G20 summit in Pittsburgh cost only 12.2 million dollars. If Toronto had reduced their costs to 12.2 million that would be 1.18 billion dollars left that could have saves thousands if not millions of lives. So you decided what is more important, a meeting to discuss world issues, or solving world issues?

Sites used for information:
http://www.unicef.org/protection/index_childlabour.html http://

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