Declare a war on world problems

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 November, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 November, 2001, 12:00am

Although any right-thinking person could not object to the so-called 'war against terrorism', why is it that we cannot now (or did not previously) exercise the same fervour or international effort against say, poverty, disease or world hunger?

The immediate loss of life in the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington was horrific. However such loss, if put into simple numeric terms - which is difficult to do because of its shocking nature - would pale into insignificance compared with the numbers who die around the world every day.

Many of these deaths on a daily, weekly, monthly and continuing basis would be preventable if just the basic essentials of human existence were available. For so many people, such essentials are not available - not because of lack of personal endeavour, but because of a combination of adverse natural circumstances such as geography, climate, or whatever.

How easy it would be for those of us who 'have' to share a small part with those who 'have not' and make such a difference.

Of course, we may do that by individual contributions to our favourite charity.

But what a real difference it would make if the United Nations, supported by the cost of all those cruise missiles and warship dispositions, could direct an initiative towards a greater objective in the way so much effort is now being directed against terrorism.