Where to begin. There are so many good quotes, ideas, and solutions in this video that I can hardly write about it all. I am partially biased because of my affinity for microfinance and my belief that it offers a practical, viable solution for many economic problems. It is certainly not a cure-all, but in my opinion, it is a much better solution than billions of dollars in aid. Not a single country has risen out of poverty or third world status based on the amount of aid received and I would imagine that in many cases, the countries receiving the most aid have stagnated disproportionally. Obviously, a cause-effect argument could be made, but regardless, it is clear that aid alone is not the solution.
Before I go any further, I would like to state that I am not against foreign aid. I think it has its place, if executed properly. There are many people who owe their lives to foreign aid. In fact the extreme poverty rate has been cut in half, from 52% to 26%, in the last 30 years and the “under age five” mortality rate has been cut in half during that time, from 40,000 to 21,000 per day. These are encouraging numbers, but the fact remains that over 3 billion people (50% of the World’s population) live on less than $2 a day (via Global Issues). Many of the world’s poor are extremely resourceful, after all, necessity is the mother of all invention, so it follows that there would be a high entrepreneurial spirit within these communities.
The question remains, do our “solutions” to poverty alleviation reflect that the people we are helping are created in God’s image? What do our current aid systems say about our view of ourselves and of others? If we intentionally or unintentionally create systems of paternalism, dependency and stagnation are we properly stewarding the resources that God has given us?
I ask that you please watch this video. It is an interesting and engaging look at a Poverty Cure.
*Special thanks to Joey, Mo and Jim who recommended this video to me.