An unusual alliance is being formed. Evangelical groups as well as activists and celebrities join their efforts to ask the G-8 leaders to transform poverty into ancient history. Live 8 concerts were aimed at spreading the idea of extending the GDP percentage to 0.7% for the development aid until 2010, eliminate agricultural subsidies and eradicate diseases. It is an unusual moment in which the reduction of global poverty must be the priority. It’s the fashion, it’s moral and it is an intelligent policy.
George W. Bush and the Congress must decide how much they are willing to invest to meet this challenge. Of course, the must important element to reduce poverty is good governance and the implementation of better economic policies, but the support of the rich countries is fundamental too. The Bush administration agreed to cancel the debt in a limited way, started a new prevention program against malaria but it did not commit itself to increase its aid and eliminate agricultural subsidies. Last week, the President promised to double the assistance to Africa in year 2010. Actually, we are not talking about new aids but about beginning to apply the promises of the Millennium Challenge Account and the AID initiative. The President says the assistance to Africa has been doubled in the last four years but if the evolution of dollar is considered you’ll see it has only been increased 56%. Besides, this is urgency aid regarding food and not the development assistance.
Poverty foment crisis which are the threats to our security. Terrorists’ networks such as Al Qaida can establish themselves in the poorest and weakest countries hiding themselves in Wahhabi humanitarian organizations. Diseases can also start in poor countries and spread. Promoting development and democracy in far away countries is an imperative for the XXI century.
“We Must Put More on the Plate to Fight Poverty”, by Susan E. Rice, Washington Post, July 5, 2005.