Wednesday, June 22

Rewarding the Corruption and Inefficiency of Third-World Governments

Great article and great issue! Congratulations to World for highlighting the truth about these debt-forgiveness initiatives.

Having lived in various third-world countries for over 15 years, I know it doesn't work. I have seen hospitals half-completed, abandoned after funds where mismanaged (stolen more likely). Europe loves coming over to Central American countries, and let everyone know how progressive they are.

Ultimately, it's the poor who suffer, while corrupt politicians get rich of the generosity of well-intentioned individuals.

...offstage a band of leading economists and scholars says the G8 plan is not only misguided but harmful, particularly for church-based poverty-fighting efforts. "Debt forgiveness rewards the corruption and inefficiency of governments who have mishandled loaned funds," writes the editorial board of the Kairos Journal in a letter sent June 6 to Mr. Warren and Mr. Stott, along with others. "In forgiving the debt of poor nations, we're not forgiving the debts of those nation's poor; we're merely enabling bureaucratic perfidy and incompetence."
If you want to better understand and gain a vision on how to help the world's poorest, I would highly recommend reading Banker to the Poor, by Yunus Muhammad. While at times it is a bit excessively utopian, it does give perspective as to what the poor truly desire and need--the chance to work hard, earn the proper and fair reward for their hard work, and make it on their own.

If you are looking for a charity that is truly making a difference in Central America, then I would recommend you check out

** UPDATE: I thought I would bring this story back up to the first page for new readers. What do you think? What is the right way to do charity in third world countries?