We haven't tried!
"All this effort, and so little result." said the radio interviewer, "we have tried to fix the problems of the world, and still we have the drowning in Bangladesh, the starving in Africa, the refugees in Iraq."
"You think we have tried to fix these problems?" I asked.
"Haven't we?" she asked rather incredulously.
"No. The truth is not that we have tried and failed. It is that we have not tried.
"Sure, some agencies like World Vision have tried to do the best they can with the little resources they have.
"And the result is we have succeeded. Just read the article in Newsweek about World Vision's project in the Ansokia Valley, Ethiopia. A disaster turned into a success story. A famine feeding centre transformed into a famine-proof community.
"The truth is that it is possible to do something about the starving in Africa, the drowning in Bangladesh, and the refugees in Iraq. The other truth is that the world doesn't really try to do anything about these issues.
"You know how much aid has been given to Bangladesh by the whole world in response to this latest disaster?"
I didn't wait for an answer, she clearly did not know.
"US$218 million. This is a minuscule amount of money compared with the size of the problem and compared with the capacity of the world to give. It is 0.4% of the amount allocated by the world to defend the borders of Kuwait. More people have died. More have been made homeless. More are in need in Bangladesh than in Kuwait.
"The cost of feeding all of Africa's starving next year is less than Australians alone spend on cigarettes.
"This week our Prime Minister put his signature on the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children. This commits Australia and other nations to a program to dramatically reduce poverty, disease, and injustice from the lives of the world's children.
"Idealistic? Sure. Impractical? Not at all.
"If we set aside the equivalent of the world's daily expenditure on weapons of war for just 10 days each year, we would achieve these goals within a decade.
"Why is it so easy for the world to move heaven and earth in an instant to defend a principle; yet we struggle to raise a finger to help the suffering?
"It's about time we stopped putting about this myth that the world is trying to fix world hunger. It is not trying, and never has tried to fix it.
"People are talking about Donor Fatigue. How can the world be fatigued? The world hasn't done anything yet?"
We bear witness to the Kingdom of God about which Jesus preached. In that Kingdom there is peace and justice, love and compassion. We should not be surprised if we find the world is different. We should be prepared to say how it ought to be. That is Good News. We are called to proclaim it.