Priorities

There is great news buried in this morning’s paper: global poverty can be eliminated by 2025. Wealthy countries — like the United States — would have to increase their development aid to just 0.7 percent of GDP over the next 10 years and maintain that level of funding for a decade.

Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs has created a detailed plan for the world to meet this goal. The United States, for example, would have to increase the Bush administration’s aid pledge by $32.2 billion next year, for a total of $54.5 billion.

To put that in perspective, the administration is requesting $100 billion this year for operations in Iraq. In other words, our costs in Iraq this year are three times more than what the U.S. would need to play its part in eliminating world poverty.