The UNDP Human Development Report of 1999 stated that the fifth of the world's people living in the highest income countries has 86 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP), 82 per cent of world export markets, 68 per cent of foreign direct investment, and 74 per cent of telephone lines. The bottom fifth, in the poorest countries, has about one per cent in each category.
Only very limited systems of interchange exist between those who hold the natural, human and technological resources and those who need them. This results in maldistribution throughout the globe. The excessive consumption patterns of the lifestyle of an elite minority in countries of the North and South, but predominantly in the North, are not only unsustainable but a root cause of food insecurity for millions. The rich minority can only live a lifestyle of affluence and excessive consumption because two-thirds of humanity live in grinding poverty. An unjust economic order, unfair trade and military might are the reasons why 20% of the world's people consume 80% of the resources and the other 80% of humanity face ill health, malnutrition, illiteracy, high infant mortality, premature death and all the other indicators of poverty. The dairy cows of Europe receive a higher income per capita by way of state paid subsidies than 900 million of the world's people. The Japanese pay seven times the world price for rice - and dump food in oceans while people go hungry in other parts of the world. Such unjust distortions are neither acceptable nor sustainable. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "There is enough for everyone's need but not enough for everyone's greed". Enough enough is enough.