Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama on aid to the world's poor

Via Chris Blattman's Blog:
Obama speaks today on development:
We will have to provide meaningful resources to meet critical priorities. I know development assistance is not the most popular program, but as President, I will make the case to the American people that it can be our best investment in increasing the common security of the entire world. That was true with the Marshall Plan, and that must be true today.

That's why I'll double our foreign assistance to $50 billion by 2012, and use it to support a stable future in failing states, and sustainable growth in Africa; to halve global poverty and to roll back disease. To send once more a message to those yearning faces beyond our shores that says, "You matter to us. Your future is our future. And our moment is now."
Aiding the poorest people of the world is always a noble cause. I just hope the money is used effectively. Aid is most likely to be helpful if it is used to fight disease and educate the people. The old saw is true: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Let me also point out that profit-seeking global corporations have done much more to lift people out of poverty in southeast Asia than charitable organizations have done to lift people out of poverty in Africa. The reason is simple: what the world's poor really need are jobs, not handouts.

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