- Rob Mather, the CEO of Against Malaria Foundation (AMF), assures us that a US$2-$2.50 (depending upon net cost) donation purchases an insecticide-treated bednet that protects 2 people for up to 3 years. Further, he states that “100% of your donation” funds bednets, not the cost of delivering those nets — pretty amazing!
- ~US$50 can deliver sight to a child who is blind due to congenital cataracts. These surgeries can be reliably performed as a result of donations to either Seva or the Fred Hollows Foundation.
- It takes an investment of just US$0.15–$0.40 for GAIN to help provide one person access to adequately iodized salt through their lifetime.
Bob, a subscriber to our newsletter, asks: “Given the immense number of people in extreme poverty and that population seems to be increasing, can aggregated donations at any scale really make a dent in the problem or are we merely satisfying ourselves that we are doing our part, i.e. something is better than nothing?”
It’s a great question — one which the former President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, addressed directly in a 2018 report: “Over the last 25 years, more than a billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty, and the global poverty rate is now lower than it has ever been in recorded history. This is one of the greatest human achievements of our time.”
In sum, poverty reduction is not only possible: poverty has consistently decreased over the last few decades! However, there is no doubt that environmental and political crises can slow down or even temporarily reverse this overall progress. The current global pandemic, for instance, threatens to increase extreme poverty. And poverty reduction remains slowest in the poorest areas (e.g. sub-Saharan Africa).
The second part of the question refers to population growth. Population growth/birth rate decline is a complex and important subject. For one informative view, I refer our subscribers to the book Factfulness by Hans Rosling. He suggests that, while the overall population is increasing significantly, the current number of children under the age of fifteen — roughly 2 billion — will remain unchanged in 2100 due, in large part, to increased access to contraception and improved educational access for women and girls.
The coronavirus pandemic may affect these trends in ways that we cannot anticipate. But the most recent data suggests that we have made great progress in reducing poverty. And you can always rest assured that your donations to our Best Charities, small or large, will be used effectively, reach the intended receipts and make a real difference in reducing the amount of premature death and unnecessary suffering! Please donate generously.