For many, the eradication of global poverty seems an insurmountable goal, and foreign aid processes can be long-winded and complex. It is important to realize, however, that the solution to this important issue may be right under our noses, not to mention incredibly simple. The idea laid out in the book Just Give Money to the Poor: The Development Revolution from the Global South, is to give aid as cash directly to those in need of it, rather than through temporary security measures.
“A quiet revolution is taking place based on the realization that you cannot pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have no boots,” the book says. “And giving ‘boots’ to people with little money does not make them lazy or reluctant to work; rather, just the opposite happens. A small guaranteed income provides a foundation that enables people to transform their own lives.”
While many are skeptical about this approach, the results of this direct aid can be seen in countries around the world. Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, India, and Ethiopia are only a few examples shown in the book – the methods range from grants for those who have children in schools, those who are the poorest, or those who are elderly or children. In each case, there is significant change following these grants: child malnutrition decreases, school registration increases, and general health improvement and growth of local farms and markets ensue.
This method seems to be fairly effective, although it cannot solve the problem of global poverty alone. In addition to these grants, there must be some other methods of government intervention along the lines of investments in education, infrastructure, and health. The notion that the poor are to blame for their position in society is turned upside down by the positive results of these grants, and the money given will only continue to be put to good use in the fight against poverty.
– Sarah Rybak
Source: Pacific Standard
Photo: Fast CoExist