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Making choices, paying the price

"If we want to avoid future wars, we have to attack the causes of war, especially poverty. Where can poor countries find the money to pay for things like schools, clinics, seeds, potable water? The military budget is the obvious place. If we can find a way to reduce the arms trade, many countries will be able to concentrate on programmes that, in the end, prevent wars. -- Oscar Arias Sanchez, former President of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

What money can buy

$100One AK-47 rifleorEnough vitamin A capsules capable of preventing blindness, for 3,000 one-year-olds.
$100 million10 million anti-personnel land-minesorEnough immunizations for approximately 7.7 million children against six deadly childhood diseases.
$800 million23 F-16 fighter planesorSalt iodization for 10 years, to protect 1.6 billion people at risk of mental retardation and other iodine deficiency disorders.
$2.4 billionOne nuclear submarineorLow-cost rural water and sanitation facilities for 48 million people.
$24 billion11 radar-evading bombersorFour years of primary education for the 135 million children not in school.

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