The entire world has come to hope and expect that international development will knit us together as a human family, helping those in need by fighting global poverty. Resources are an important part of the solution. US assistance for developing nations rose from about $10 billion in 2000 to $24 billion today. A missing piece, however, is a forum where concerned actors from all walks of life can come together to exchange ideas and forge solutions for the toughest problems. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Global Development Commons to wrestle with the kinds of questions raised in Mr. Lange's thought-provoking articles.
As Lange rightly observes, imposing "top down" solutions from the West has rarely worked. Addressing the underlying causes of poverty means empowering men and women through education, healthcare, nutrition, and economic opportunity. Eradicating poverty and ensuring social justice go hand in hand.
Market forces are not perfect, but experience teaches that they are the surest way to improve living standards. When our presidential candidates debate trade policy, they need to remember that what we do at home affects hundreds of millions of less fortunate people living elsewhere.
One aspect that deserves more attention is the connection between hunger and poverty. Simply put, without adequate nourishment, people become too sick and too weak to work. We know what children need to have a shot at making it to their fifth birthday. It's inexpensive, and the products are available.