When we think about poverty, we think about the less fortunate, who do not get paid for the hard work they put in, who live day-to-day on the bare minimum they need to survive. Jacqueline Novogratz’ TED talk goes in detail about what she describes poverty as. Throughout her talk, we hear Jacqueline explain stories about several different humans she has built relationships with over the years. She defines poverty as these huge masses of people, who make between $1-3 a day, as farmers, factory workers, drivers, etc. She goes onto explain that the poor are willing and excited to make smart decisions if they are given that opportunity. Jacqueline sees so much potential in the women in Africa and other countries living in poverty, and is excited for the future that we can build for them. Novogratz explains that production is too low, and prices are too high. So what can we do to help the Africans living in poverty? The main area in which we need to help is in distribution. She introduces us to an amazing woman who makes $2 a day. She tells us that she sees so much potential in this woman, and she is one of the smartest people she’s ever met. The final message Jacqueline gave to us was that we have to be able to work with different people across the world to end this, and she urges us to think about how to engage with this opportunity and end poverty by becoming part of the process.
SDGs, also known as Sustainable Development Goals, include “socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth.” Sustainable Development Goals try to break down the world economy, the global society, and the Earth’s physical environment. With that being said, the goal of SDGs is to eliminate a world where there is extreme poverty, social trust is increased, and where the environment is protected from human-induced degradation. Cutting government spending promoted by the World Bank and IMF, also known as neo-liberalism, has several effects on poor countries. This includes higher poverty levels and major declines in life expectancy rates. Neo-liberalism takes a toll on the economy as a whole.
McArthur explains Bush’s endorsement in his article, Own the Goals, of the UN Millennium Declaration and the Monterrey agreements and how he did not support the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals). Bush viewed the MDGs as “UN-dictated aid quotas.” The US then missed out on their shot to increase development across the world. Similar to Bush’s views and the US efforts throughout the years, the World Bank has missed out on opportunities that have come their way. Both the US and the World Bank are finally being given opportunity to help with the MDGs, only because of shown accomplishment. In the article, John McArthur refers to the US and the World Bank as “Players on the Bench.”
The essay, How to Help Poor Countries, discusses the efforts to be made in order to decrease poverty in underdeveloped countries. The essay explains that “wealthy nations can materially shape development in the poor world and that their efforts to do so should consist largely of providing resources to and trading opportunities for poor countries.” While rich countries can certainly help underdeveloped countries, the real problem lies internally. For example, the essay discusses a case between the US and Mexico. The US has provided Mexico with a substantial amount of goods, jobs, and has also made huge investments. While this has definitely helped Mexico’s economy, the real problem is internal that an outsider cannot fix. Aid money has improved and fixed many issues in countries such as Bangladesh, Uganda, Bosnia, East Timor, etc., only because these recipient countries have spent the money wisely and planned exactly what they need to do (which is very difficult to do). The authors suggest giving aid to countries that have plans, and people who will spend the budget correctly. The essay states: “Aid is only as good as the ability of a recipient’s economy and government to use it prudently and productively.”
Birdsall, N., Rodrik, D., & Subramanian, A. (2005). How to Help Poor Countries. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
McArthur, J. W. (2013). Own the Goals. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
Novogratz, J. (n.d.). Invest in Africa’s own solutions. Retrieved January 23, 2017, from http://www.ted.com/talks/jacqueline_novogratz_invests_in_ending_poverty.html
Sachs, J. D. (n.d.). The Age of Sustainable Development.