Thursday, May 10, 2007

Corruption deprives millions of children's future

Picture out barefoot and malnourished children roaming the streets, begging for alms from passing motorists. As early as dawn, they are already out there, sans breakfast but dreams that they would be able to cope with the daily grinds of life. Hands outstretched, knocking at every window glass of cars stalled on traffic in the hope that any loose coins would trickle onto their tin cans. Day-in and day-out, this is their routine. Some of them, as young as four, while others are in their early grades, are already out-of-school.

Reason? The parents can't afford to send them even to a public school. With jobless parents around, these children are left without a choice but to fend for themselves, anything that would keep them survive in the world's dog-eat-dog competition.

The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and so with various international organizations, have done their best to reach out for these street children, most engaged in drudgery just to survive, even if its against international labor laws. But with millions of them in the poverty list, they can only do so much. Yet, these relief organizations are trying their best to help them, despite the risks involved.

And most of these are happening in Third World countries where per capita income is less than what is expected. It is hard to imagine how the countless children in some African countries like Darfur, are eating. Worse is that many of them are sick due to lack of medical assistance due them at the height of the unabated atrocities made by the janjaweed militias believed to be backed by the Sudanese government.

Some government officials have become callous due to lack of concern for the welfare of the impoverished majority out there, but their pockets. Corruption is rampant and it is a big problem that cannot be eradicated overnight. The World Bank has poured in billions of dollars to alleviate poverty in the developing countries but to no avail. WB investigations showed that billions that were intended to fund projects to improve the quality of lives of the people have been diverted somewhere else, in cahoots with greedy politicians and some World Bank officials, who take advantage of their positions.

How sad it is to see the faces of children dying of hunger, while some politicians spend their hefty commissions, frolicking along the white, pristine beaches of the Caribbean, if not with their families, their mistresses.

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