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International Priorities: Hunger or War

The bells of total war resounded in Europe after 80 years. The shock reached beyond the borders of the old continent and the international media were quick to condemn the act. The Spanish poet and philosopher Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santallana said that those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it, but it seems that amnesia clouds the judgment of those on whose shoulders rests the responsibility of governing and directing nations. The testimony of death, hunger and destruction that exists in countless war chronicles is not enough to discourage human conflicts, but this premise comes into direct contact with a very crude reality: war is good business, or at least for some.

The increase in inequality in recent times according to OXFAM fractures society, while the 10 richest men in the world doubled their fortune, the other 99% of the population has had to face an increasingly complicated reality; the constant rise in the prices of the basic basket, the lack or loss of employment due to the pandemic, discrimination based on race or gender, poverty and many other ills that afflict today. But world politics is more concerned about investment in defense than about ending world hunger. According to data from the World Bank, defense spending in the 5 countries that invest the most in that ruble has been increasing in the last 6 years; The United States heads the list followed by China and Russia (see Chart 1).

Of all this, the real winners are the companies in the arms industry, because in the last days of the conflict they have multiplied their profits considerably, according to data from the day these consist of 81.5 billion dollars; the equivalent of pension and investment expenses in Mexico.

Economic violence disproportionately affects the vast majority of the world's population, those living in poverty, mainly women and children. Adding this to the current pandemic reflects the destruction of livelihoods; Well, World Bank estimates, around 3.19 billion people in the world have to live with less than 5.5 dollars a day and if the current trend continues, in 2030 there could be 3.318 billion people living with the same sum. The United Nations World Food Program has warned that the number of people on the brink of famine is on the rise, with more than 45 million people currently on the brink of starvation. With the increase in inflation, it has been estimated that the approximate cost of avoiding famine amounts to 7 billion dollars, a figure that is relatively small when compared to the military budget of highly militarized countries. While in countries like Madagascar families must choose to skip meals or feed on roots or insects, in other parts of the world multi-million dollar contracts are being signed for the purchase and sale of weapons.

With the eyes of the world focused on the Euro-Asian military conflict that little by little has begun to wreak havoc on the rest of the world, it leaves aside the other problems that afflict modern society. Can you imagine everything that could be fixed with the budget that is allocated to the defense of nations?


Sánchez Páramo, C., et al. (7 de octubre de 2021). La pandemia de COVID-19 (coronavirus) deja como consecuencia un aumento de la pobreza y la desigualdad, op. cit.

Carbajal, B. (2022, 3 marzo). Empresas de armas multiplican riquezas en 7 días de guerra. La Jornada. Recuperado 8 de marzo de 2022, de

Las desigualdades matan. (2022, 17 enero). Oxfam International. Recuperado 8 de marzo de 2022, de

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