La cumbre de Evian, una oportunidad para asegurar el futuro

La paradoja de nuestro tiempo es el gran poder de los países más ricos del mundo para hacer el bien y, sin embargo, su aparente compulsión de perder cada oportunidad de actuar en ese sentido. EEUU es el ejemplo supremo de esto: un país que dedica $450 mil millones por año al gasto militar asigna sólo $12 mil millones al año a la ayuda para el desarrollo de países pobres. Puede bombardear Somalia, Afganistán e Irak, pero parece poco preparado para ayudar a que estos lugares se desarrollen. Europa lo hace un poco mejor, paralizada como está por las divisiones internas y los déficits presupuestarios. La cumbre del G-8, que se celebrará la semana próxima en Evian, Francia, es una oportunidad para intentar un buen comienzo.

Para los mil millones de personas representadas en la cumbre del G-8, la vida es extremadamente buena en comparación con el resto del planeta, con ingresos promedio de $25,000 o más por persona y una expectativa de vida de cerca de 80 años. Para cerca de tres mil millones de personas en el mundo de hoy, lo que incluye a China, gran parte de la India y casi todo el Este Asiático, el desarrollo económico se está dando razonablemente bien, a pesar de que muestra varios altibajos (siendo el más reciente el golpe que ha significado la epidemia de SARS). También se ven tendencias positivas en Brasil y México.

Pero para los dos mil millones de personas que restan para completar la población mundial, la vida sigue siendo una experiencia desesperada. Para cerca de mil millones de personas, la mera supervivencia es algo precario. Millones mueren cada año por falta de acceso a medicinas, aliementos, agua potable y servicios sanitarios básicos. A menudo su expectativa de vida es menos de 50 años, y en muchos lugares está cayendo por debajo de esa cifra.

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