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A first step for the global poor – shatter six myths

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A bogus excuse. Historically, the world's poorest covered the globe. That's no longer the case. The mid-tier developing world in much of South and Central Asia is steadily and remarkably rising in prosperity. The last billion who suffer extreme poverty are concentrated in fewer than 60 very small sub-Saharan, Asian, and Latin American countries, which means we've never been in a better position to eradicate it.

 

Apparently not. Alleviating suffering, the prevailing call-to-action among the G-8, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and celebrities, has not compelled adequate action on the part of developed nations. We need reasons that engage a broader political spectrum. Humanitarian, labor, and environmental goals must be joined with economic and geopolitical priorities, each in service to the other.

The boys of the last billion, fodder for African warlords and Saudi-funded extremist , are prone to carrying chaos across borders. Post-9/11 makes ending extreme poverty a security priority. The left responds to the promise of a more compassionate world; the right, to the threat of a more violent one. We must enlist both.

 

Not really. Since 2001, the Bush administration has tripled foreign assistance worldwide, and quadrupled it in Africa. And NGOs build their identities around raising and giving money. But more funding isn't the most critical issue.

While humanitarian assistance has saved millions, consider this startling conclusion from a recent study by the Center for Global Development: When aid rises to 8 percent of a recipient nation's gross domestic product, . Above that, it has a effect.

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