Microcredit: The Solution to Global Poverty

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Over 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day (Singer 7). In impoverished nations, the life expectancy is below fifty, compared to the average of seventy-eight years in rich nations. The mortality rate of children is twenty times greater in “least developed” countries than in developed nations. Nearly 18 million people die every year from avoidable, poverty-related causes (UNICEF). On the other side of the spectrum, there were more than 1,100 billionaires in the world in 2007 (Singer 9). According to Singer, “[t]here are about a billion [people] living at a level of affluence never previously known except in the courts of kings and nobles” (9). Peter Singer insists in his book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty, that there is no reason why the rich should not give up part of their income to help the poor achieve a sustainable way of life. Looking at these statistics, who could say that he has an extreme viewpoint? With so many resources and so much money to give away, helping those in need takes no more than a simple action. Giving up some unneeded luxuries to potentially save more than one child’s life would not kill anyone. However, would that, in reality, benefit the impoverished? Ignoring the impoverished will leave them in their current situation; helping them excessively will cause them to rely on others. The real solution to this ongoing crisis lies in microloans.

Developed countries should not simply hand money to third world countries, as this gives no incentive to develop responsible government or fiscal policies. Dambisa Moyo, an international economist from Zambia, comments on foreign aid, stating that “aid is easy money” (Collier). If a person were to give a man in need a small sum of m...

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...y establish a business by loaning it money through microloans reduces poverty permanently.

Works Cited

Collier, Paul. "Dead Aid, By Dambisa Moyo." Rev. of Dead Aid, by Dambisa Moyo. The Independent 30 Jan 2009. Web. < http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/dead-aid-by-dambisa-moyo-1519875.html>.

Shah, Anup.“Poverty Facts and Stats.”Global Issues. 20 Sep. 2010. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. .

Singer

UNICEF

http://www.starvation.net/

http://www.realityofaid.org

World Bank

http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm#a3

O’Hanlon, Ellis. “Aid is not the only answer to Third World problems.” Irish Independent News.

Kiva

Erase Poverty

Collect Educate Advance (CEA)

"How aid works (or doesn't)." African Business Feb. 2009: 22+. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 16 Jan. 2012.

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