Thank you! Don't forget to confirm subscription in your email.
Without in any way minimising the economic and psychological blow that people experience when they lose their jobs, the unemployed in affluent countries still have a safety net, in the form of social security payments, and usually free healthcare and free education for their children. They also have sanitation and safe drinking water.
Although we take it for granted, sanitation is a physical measure that has probably done more to increase human life span than any kind of drug or surgery.
Because sanitation has so many effects across all aspects of development - it affects education, it affects health, it affects maternal mortality and infant mortality, it affects labor - it's all these things, so it becomes a political football. Nobody has full responsibility.
In 1995, world military spending totaled nearly $800 billion. If we redirected just $40 billion of those resources over the next 10 years to fighting poverty, all of the world's population would enjoy basic social services, such as education, health care, nutrition, reproductive health, clean water and sanitation.
No innovation in the past 200 years has done more to save lives and improve health than the sanitation revolution triggered by invention of the toilet. But it did not go far enough. It only reached one-third of the world.