Readers respond to 'An End to Poverty'
We asked for your feedback on a vision to end poverty for the last billion poor.
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Market forces are not perfect, but experience teaches that they are the surest way to improve living standards. When our presidential candidates debate trade policy, they need to remember that what we do at home affects hundreds of millions of less fortunate people living elsewhere.Skip to next paragraph
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Gary Clyde Hufbauer
Senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
One aspect that deserves more attention is the connection between hunger and poverty. Simply put, without adequate nourishment, people become too sick and too weak to work. We know what children need to have a shot at making it to their fifth birthday. It's inexpensive, and the products are available.
Executive director, Action Against Hunger USA
Vulnerable communities are powerful agents for reshaping society and triggering sustainable development when mobilized from within. We can provide the resources, but we must trust the communities themselves to draw the blueprint.
Ruth W. Messinger
President, American Jewish World Service
Climate change has the potential to massively increase global poverty and inequality, punishing first and most severely the people least responsible for greenhouse-gas emissions. Up to 250 million Africans could face severe water shortages by 2020. Building resilience and promoting adaptive strategies must be a critical component of a global solution to climate change, as well as integrated in our actions to fight global poverty.
Raymond C. Offenheiser
President, Oxfam America
Poverty will not end until and unless the girls and women of the developing world are empowered. We have no chance at ending poverty when half of the population that does the vast majority of the work continues to be marginalized, oppressed, and unsupported.
President & CEO, The Hunger Project
Nearly 20 years ago, I started to sponsor a 3-year-old-child, Wilson, in Guatemala. I chose educational help, rather than direct handouts, thinking it would lead to employment. Wilson graduated with a teaching certificate but there were not enough jobs. He is now helping his father sell vegetables in local markets, precisely what he would have done without his education. I then realized the need for well-intended efforts like mine to be coupled with a larger-scale effort to improve the local economy and create jobs.
Black Diamond, Wash.
While I do not agree with China on most basic human rights issues, its mandate on only one child per couple is an environmental and economic necessity. In Africa, South America and the Middle East, large families seem to be encouraged by a mixture of history and religion. That norm needs to be challenged and broken. Without addressing this aspect of the causes of poverty, all other proposals will go nowhere.