Cost of War: $12 Billion a Month – Take One

The United States is spending $12 billion a month on the war in Iraq.

I just read Chelsea’s blog entry at .

It shows one starving child. I wondered what it would take to feed all the children in the world. I had to make a lot of assumptions.

First, let’s say there are 6 billion people on earth. It’s actually a few more than that, but that is a good enough number for this exercise.

Then, let’s assume half of all people on earth are children. That is not quite right either, but close enough.

Then let’s assume half of all children on earth live in poverty, and need more nutrition then they are getting.

Let’s then assume we want to give every child in poverty one full bowl of rice a day. That may not seem like a lot, but to the child depicted in the referenced blog, a bowl of rice a day would be an incredible treasure.

What does a bowl of rice cost? Really, just rice? Let’s say it costs 10 cents, sounds reasonable enough. That would mean that we can feed a child for a whole month for $3.

We will need to add some money for overhead and distribution, since we have to get the bowl of rice into the hands of the children every day. Let’s say it costs $5 per child per month to do that.

World’s Population


Number of Children



Children in Poverty



Cost of a Bowl of Rice


Monthly Cost for Rice per Child


Cost of Overhead and Distribution per Child


Cost to Feed All Children


Voila – the chart above shows that we can feed every starving child in the world for $12 billion a month.

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