HEADLINES OF THE DAY: ANOTHER 15,000 PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO POOR TO LIVE. THE RICH INCREASED THEIR WEALTH YESTERDAY BY $0.3 BILLION. THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS ONE DAY NEARER.
“O Ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”
A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis at email@example.com. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE TO POVERTY (Part 90). This blog is a continuation of the review of ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY: A GUIDE TO WHAT WORKS by Stephen C. Smith, published in 2005.
We can afford to do both
The case for fighting AIDS is slightly different from that of fighting the major childhood killers. In both cases, there is a moral imperative to help when people are needlessly suffering. With small children our obligation is primarily humanitarian. If there were a tradeoff between saving children and adults given limited funds, many would support saving the children. We can afford to do both. Indeed, the two cannot be separated. With adults with HIV/AIDS the case for action is not only humanitarian but is also an investment in reducing future need for aid. Adults who have survived childhood diseases are the ones the children and the elderly count on for support.
AIDS has tended to strike those with more education
If Africa loses people entering the prime of their bread-winning years, children and the elderly will become even more destitute, making it that much harder to break out of poverty traps. Moreover, AIDS has tended to strike those with more education and higher productivity – thus having a disproportional impact on economic development. In many parts of Africa today, teachers are dying of AIDS faster than new teachers can be trained. Keeping an HIV+ person with basic education productive as she enters the earning years is a better way to raise national incomes and general well-being (or keep then from falling) in countries such as South Africa than most other investments.
An excellent model developed by church groups in Zimbabwe
Good work on AIDS is going on now throughout Africa. An excellent recent model developed by church groups in Zimbabwe is to utilize volunteers to visit and provide basic care for AIDS orphans in the homes where they live, which can be homes of child-headed households, foster parents, grandparents, or other relatives. These visits provide a much needed combination of emotional and material support for these orphans. But AIDS must be prevented in the first place. And modern methods of family planning need to be introduced.
POPULATION AND FAMILY PLANNING: CARE MAKES PROGRESS IN ETHIOPIA
One of the huge success stories of recent decades
There are more than ten times as many people living on the Earth as there were 300 years ago. But one of the huge success stories of recent decades is the decrease in the rate of growth of world population. The growth rate peaked in the early 1960s at about 2.2% per year, but has now been cut in half to 1.1%. This is the difference between the population doubling at a rate of every 32 years in the 1960s, and every 64 years today. Although the population is still growing, the number of people added to the Earth each year (the number by which births exceed deaths) is now getting smaller. After a peak of adding 87 million additional people in 1989, in 2002 the world added 74 million people, and this figure is getting progressively smaller. Still, most of the increase is occurring in developing countries that are often already facing growing environmental pressures.
The work of CARE’s Population and AIDS Prevention Project
In isolated villages of rural Ethiopia, population growth has been fast and knowledge of family planning minimal. There has been very limited access to healthcare. Women have little power in the family. Fewer than 19% of women in the country can read, and the percentage is even lower in rural areas. On average, a woman in Ethiopia will give birth 6 times, a rate of fertility almost unchanged for decades. Yet the environment is becoming increasingly stressed. The population, now at 65 million, is expected to reach 88 million by 2015. The hope of ending poverty in Ethiopian villages depends on decreasing fertility. The work of CARE’s Population and AIDS Prevention Project (POP/AIDS) in rural Ethiopia shows that this is possible.