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ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 @ 06:03 AM
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HEADLINES OF THE DAY: ANOTHER 15,000 PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO POOR TO LIVE. THE RICH INCREASED THEIR WEALTH YESTERDAY BY $0.3 BILLION. THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS ONE DAY NEARER.

“O Ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”
Bahá’u’lláh

A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis at willisdavid167@gmail.com. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE TO POVERTY (Part 91). This blog is a continuation of the review of ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY: A GUIDE TO WHAT WORKS by Stephen C. Smith, published in 2005.

A culture of family planning
This program began in 1996 with a mission to improve the health status of women and children. In CARE’s program, an extension agent (or profession trainer) lives in a village for several months, working in a cluster of between four and nine villages with a local peasant’s association. The goal is to help establish “a culture of family planning” and a framework for community health. The CARE agent begins by identifying and working actively with natural leaders in these villages – people CARE calls “opinion leaders” rather than “political leaders.”

A key role as change-agents
The extension agent works to persuade these leaders of the importance of family planning. The leaders in turn play a key role as “change-agents” by convincing others, partly by setting an example through their own behavior. The CARE agent and community leaders often meet, sitting together in a large circle outdoors, to discuss family planning, health issues, or other concerns raised by participants. With the assistance of these opinion leaders, the CARE extension agent then identifies an appropriate local resident who was respected in the community and would serve as the reproductive health representative after the extension agent had transferred to another village.

Program financial sustainability
In the first months after moving on to another community, the CARE extension agent makes a few brief return visits for training. After that point there is follow up from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, including programs to involve the representatives in immunization, in an anti-polio campaign, and in the distribution of Vitamin A supplements. The involvement of the ministry is intended to help promote program financial sustainability.
CARE says it works with tacit approval of the official leaders, by making courtesy calls to officials, introducing visitors, symbolically demonstrating respect and acceptance of their authority.
During a five-year project from 1996 to 2001, CARE extension workers trained and established 344 community representatives potentially serving some 260,000 villagers.
Contraceptive use rose from 4% to 24% in the Oromiya region south of Addis Ababa. The program worked better where men were more actively involved.
As of the end of 2004 these village family planning representatives were still active and linked to nearby government health facilities for supplies and technical support. This linkage is an important phase in the assumption of responsibility for the program by the local government.

An adequate, steady supply of contraceptives
Ensuring that an adequate, steady supply of contraceptives for the village was available after the launch was very important to maintaining use. If costs of contraception cannot be kept very low, the villagers cannot afford them, so continued subsidies will likely be needed for some time. Consistent involvement by community based organizations and the Ethiopian government is needed to ensure the new “culture of family planning.” In this way, an escape from the high fertility trap might be secured.

ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY

Monday, March 30, 2015 @ 07:03 AM
posted by admin

HEADLINES OF THE DAY: ANOTHER 15,000 PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO POOR TO LIVE. THE RICH INCREASED THEIR WEALTH YESTERDAY BY $0.3 BILLION. THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS ONE DAY NEARER.

“O Ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”
Bahá’u’lláh

A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis at willisdavid167@gmail.com. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE TO POVERTY (Part 90). This blog is a continuation of the review of ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY: A GUIDE TO WHAT WORKS by Stephen C. Smith, published in 2005.

We can afford to do both
The case for fighting AIDS is slightly different from that of fighting the major childhood killers. In both cases, there is a moral imperative to help when people are needlessly suffering. With small children our obligation is primarily humanitarian. If there were a tradeoff between saving children and adults given limited funds, many would support saving the children. We can afford to do both. Indeed, the two cannot be separated. With adults with HIV/AIDS the case for action is not only humanitarian but is also an investment in reducing future need for aid. Adults who have survived childhood diseases are the ones the children and the elderly count on for support.

AIDS has tended to strike those with more education
If Africa loses people entering the prime of their bread-winning years, children and the elderly will become even more destitute, making it that much harder to break out of poverty traps. Moreover, AIDS has tended to strike those with more education and higher productivity – thus having a disproportional impact on economic development. In many parts of Africa today, teachers are dying of AIDS faster than new teachers can be trained. Keeping an HIV+ person with basic education productive as she enters the earning years is a better way to raise national incomes and general well-being (or keep then from falling) in countries such as South Africa than most other investments.

An excellent model developed by church groups in Zimbabwe
Good work on AIDS is going on now throughout Africa. An excellent recent model developed by church groups in Zimbabwe is to utilize volunteers to visit and provide basic care for AIDS orphans in the homes where they live, which can be homes of child-headed households, foster parents, grandparents, or other relatives. These visits provide a much needed combination of emotional and material support for these orphans. But AIDS must be prevented in the first place. And modern methods of family planning need to be introduced.

POPULATION AND FAMILY PLANNING: CARE MAKES PROGRESS IN ETHIOPIA
One of the huge success stories of recent decades
There are more than ten times as many people living on the Earth as there were 300 years ago. But one of the huge success stories of recent decades is the decrease in the rate of growth of world population. The growth rate peaked in the early 1960s at about 2.2% per year, but has now been cut in half to 1.1%. This is the difference between the population doubling at a rate of every 32 years in the 1960s, and every 64 years today. Although the population is still growing, the number of people added to the Earth each year (the number by which births exceed deaths) is now getting smaller. After a peak of adding 87 million additional people in 1989, in 2002 the world added 74 million people, and this figure is getting progressively smaller. Still, most of the increase is occurring in developing countries that are often already facing growing environmental pressures.

The work of CARE’s Population and AIDS Prevention Project
In isolated villages of rural Ethiopia, population growth has been fast and knowledge of family planning minimal. There has been very limited access to healthcare. Women have little power in the family. Fewer than 19% of women in the country can read, and the percentage is even lower in rural areas. On average, a woman in Ethiopia will give birth 6 times, a rate of fertility almost unchanged for decades. Yet the environment is becoming increasingly stressed. The population, now at 65 million, is expected to reach 88 million by 2015. The hope of ending poverty in Ethiopian villages depends on decreasing fertility. The work of CARE’s Population and AIDS Prevention Project (POP/AIDS) in rural Ethiopia shows that this is possible.

ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY

Sunday, March 29, 2015 @ 06:03 AM
posted by admin

HEADLINES OF THE DAY: ANOTHER 15,000 PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO POOR TO LIVE. THE RICH INCREASED THEIR WEALTH YESTERDAY BY $0.3 BILLION. THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS ONE DAY NEARER.

“O Ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”
Bahá’u’lláh

A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis at willisdavid167@gmail.com. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE TO POVERTY (Part 89). This blog is a continuation of the review of ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY: A GUIDE TO WHAT WORKS by Stephen C. Smith, published in 2005.

FIGHTING HIV/AIDS: THE AIDS SUPPORT ORGANIZATION, UGANDA
Approaching that of the bubonic plague of Medieval Europe
Now the leading cause of death of working-age adults in the developing world, if unchecked AIDS may condemn Sub-Saharan Africa, the hardest hit region, to grinding poverty for at least another generation. In 2004, some 42 million people worldwide were infected with HIV, with over 34 million of these in Sub-Saharan Africa. There the prevalence rate is now estimated at 8.8% of the adult population, with women representing 55% of the infected. The impact of the disease is approaching that of the bubonic plague of Medieval Europe.

Nearly 22 million people have died from AIDS
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that, by 2002, nearly 22 million people had died from AIDS since the disease was identified in the 1980s, with the large majority of deaths occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa. Throughout the region AIDS is now the leading cause of death of adult males in economically active years. Although infectious childhood diseases still kill far more people in developing countries, AIDS strikes those who have successfully run this gauntlet of child killers. Their societies need the energies and skills of precisely the part of the population most afflicted.
In the developing countries as a whole AIDS is primarily transmitted by heterosexual intercourse. In addition, infected blood and needles, both by drug abusers and in hospitals, and perinatal transmission (from mother to fetus) play significant roles.
In low-income countries average survival once AIDS symptoms set in has been less than one year.
Lifesaving drugs are still not available to the overwhelming majority of the infected in Africa and South Asia because of limited availability of low-priced drugs, slow implementation, and inadequate health system infrastructure to get the medicines to patients in these countries. In the absence of these drugs, treatments have generally been limited to aspirin, antibiotics for infections, and cortisone for skin rashes.

Prodding government into action
Some NGOs are responding to AIDS with innovations that have resulted in a significant humanitarian and poverty alleviation impact. Uganda was the first country to be hit hard with an AIDS pandemic, but, partly through the work of NGOs, the country became a model for how to contain such an explosion of HIV and to treat its victims with dignity. The AIDS Support Organization, or TASO, has played a crucial role in treatment, family assistance, and counseling. It has been instrumental in prodding government into action, and helping Uganda respond to AIDS.
Live positively with AIDS
A Uganda-based and locally governed NGO, TASO was founded by Noerine Kaleeba in 1987, after her husband died of AIDS contracted through a blood transfusion. Its goal is to help people to “live positively with AIDS.” Patient testimonials suggest that the counseling makes a big impact on how people live after learning they are HIV positive. Some of these patients have themselves become activists in the organization, and many other TASO staff and volunteers are also people living with HIV/AIDS.

Successful efforts to disseminate AIDS education
Uganda-based TASO was the first indigenous NGO in Africa to respond to the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS, and it has received accolades for its pioneering and successful efforts to disseminate AIDS education to the local grassroots levels and relieve the suffering of AIDS patients. TASO won the King Baudouin International Development Prize in 1994. Recently TASO has garnered much attention, with visits by U.S. Secretary of State Powell in 2001 and by President Bush in2003.
The AIDS Support Organization has played a crucial role in Uganda’s long fight against AIDS, in the fields of treatment, family assistance, and counseling, as well as general education. Although entirely indigenous, it has received substantial outside funding.

ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY

Saturday, March 28, 2015 @ 05:03 AM
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HEADLINES OF THE DAY: ANOTHER 15,000 PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO POOR TO LIVE. THE RICH INCREASED THEIR WEALTH YESTERDAY BY $0.3 BILLION. THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS ONE DAY NEARER.

“O Ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”
Bahá’u’lláh

A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis at willisdavid167@gmail.com. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE TO POVERTY (Part 88). This blog is a continuation of the review of ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY: A GUIDE TO WHAT WORKS by Stephen C. Smith, published in 2005.

PART II: ESCAPING THE POVERTY TRAP: HOW THE POOR ARE GAINING THE KEYS TO CAPABILITY
Good work is being done
Even in the poorest regions of the world, far from the major growth engines of the global economy, and in the face of many handicaps, good work is being done to help the poor gain the keys to capability and escape from poverty traps. Part II of the book takes a close look at innovative and inspiring programs in areas such as the Andes, Sub-Saharan Africa, and rural South Asia that remain outside the mainstream of the world economy.

What is a poverty program?
Up to this point, we have looked at what poverty is, why it can be a trap, who the poor are. But what exactly is a poverty program? Many definitions are possible, but the one I use casts a fairly wide net: A poverty program is an intentional and systematic attempt to change the status quo (or equilibrium) in a way that reduces poverty.

The broad range of promising work now being carried out
Keep in mind that identification of effective or innovative programs is not a science; it relies on a combination of statistical and case study methods tempered by judgment. Moreover, there are many other excellent poverty strategies. Although chosen carefully, programs featured in this book are not necessarily superior to many others that are not covered. Instead, these cases are intended to be illustrative of the broad range of promising work now being carried out, and to encourage thinking outside the box about what could be done to meet some of the less-obvious needs of the poor.

Chapter 3: Health, Nutrition, and Population
Our hopes for ending global poverty depend on better health for the poor. Health begins with safe water. But water is all too often scarce, far away, contaminated, or a combination of the three, threatening our efforts.

SOUTH AFRICA: SAFE WATER AND HEALTHY CHILDREN
Risks of cholera and other diseases
In rural South Africa, the poor often live one or two miles or more from sources of water, which must be drawn from streams, or, for the lucky, drawn from hand pumps, although either method is physically straining on tired women, who are generally the ones who fetch the water. Risks of cholera and other diseases found in contaminated water are high. Needless to say, the poor cannot afford the piping and power pumps (even if they could get electricity) that are used by the rich. So the women must trudge twice a day to collect water, wasting desperately needed hours. You can often see their children following sullenly behind. When a little older, the children themselves must fetch the water. These children have generally never enjoyed the playground equipment that we take for granted.

The solution: enter Roundabout Outdoor with its ingenious invention, the Roundabout Playpump. The company developed a low-maintenance merry-go-round (also called a roundabout) for children to spin around in, started and sped up with their feet: the kind of playground staple many of us remember from childhood. But the spinning action is used as power for pumping water out of a well dug nearby, which is then sent up to a water tank a few meters above the ground. The design has an innovative way of converting the circular motion of the toy into up-and-down motion for drawing water using only two moving parts. The children get a playground toy that they really delight in. the Playpumps are often placed in schools, giving children an additional incentive to attend (at least they like the recess time). The children help their families and communities get better access to water simply by having a good time. Children at play may be one of the great renewable resources of the world. The only problem is convincing the kids to get off the Playpump when it is time to come home.
The pump is effective to a depth of about 100 meters, and at 40 meters is considered remarkably efficient – significantly better than what a hand pump could deliver with great effort.
The Playpump costs about $5,000 – an investment that is quickly returned just from the time saved in fetching water.
Many Playpumps have been financed through grants. The project was a winner of a $165,000 World Bank development marketplace award.
Over 500 Playpumps have been installed to date, and over 200,000 South Africans have benefited.
Though maintenance costs are low, these are not trivial to impoverished villagers. Maintenance is financed with small advertising billboards on the sites.
The project is clearly something that can be replicated in many parts of the world in thousands of villages, and interest is growing in transferring this new technology to other countries in Africa and Asia.

ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY

Friday, March 27, 2015 @ 07:03 AM
posted by admin

HEADLINES OF THE DAY: ANOTHER 15,000 PEOPLE DIED YESTERDAY BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO POOR TO LIVE. THE RICH INCREASED THEIR WEALTH YESTERDAY BY $0.3 BILLION. THE 21st CENTURY VERSION OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IS ONE DAY NEARER.

“O Ye rich ones on earth! The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”
Bahá’u’lláh

A preview of the unpublished book A CIVILIZATION WITHOUT A VISION WILL PERISH: AN INDEPENDENT SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH by David Willis at willisdavid167@gmail.com. CHAPTER 1: INDIFFERENCE TO POVERTY (Part 87). This blog is a continuation of the review of ENDING GLOBAL POVERTY: A GUIDE TO WHAT WORKS by Stephen C. Smith, published in 2005.

Mental health has deteriorated significantly
Mental health has deteriorated significantly in the former Soviet Union and southeast Europe, along with the general decline in health and incomes.
Depression an anxiety are often considered afflictions of affluent societies, but they are pervasive among the poor in developing countries.
These mental health problems are a consequence of poverty, but then become also its cause – another poverty trap.
Mental illness deprives the poor of “capabilities to function.” Poor mental health, in addition, is also often associated with poor physical health.
In some African countries AIDS is creating a virtual generation of orphans. Over 10 million AIDS orphans lived in Africa in 2000.
Providing basic needs for these orphans, ensuring that they are not discriminated against out of irrational fears, and seeing that they are able to obtain the few years of schooling that will help rescue them from absolute poverty is a major challenge in the struggle against poverty.
Political analysts claim conditions are ripe not only for child abuse and exploitation, but for recruiting children for guerrilla armies led by unscrupulous aspiring dictators or mercenary groups.
The resulting destabilization and diversion of resources can have a devastating social and economic development impact.
Individual empowerment must take place in a context of participation in much broader, empowered communities. This leads us to the final key.

The Eighth Key: Community empowerment to ensure effective participation in the wider world
Having power is critical to your ability to take control of your life, and to take advantage of opportunities to escape from poverty traps.
Empowering the poor also frees them to innovate, to envision new possibilities, to become more productive, to find new ways to solve problems, and to form productive, cooperative relationships with others to achieve shared goals.
To escape from poverty requires empowered people within a community that is empowered to function within the wider world.
The poor depend on their community’s security to survive, to defend their rights, and to preserve their opportunities to improve the lives of their families.
Communities must have and maintain peace to be empowered. Civil strife is still one of the greatest impediments to ending global poverty.
Community empowerment is key to security.
Your community, or communities, however humble, must be informed, empowered to stand up for their interests, and able to defend their rights.
The poor need democracy and human rights as much as do the rich.

Empowerment supports the other keys to capability
Empowerment supports the other keys to capability. Without empowerment there may be no access to markets and land. While greater income can do much even in the short run, it cannot guarantee a sustainable escape from poverty traps if the poor are still not in a position to access education and healthcare, if they cannot demand that government provide a functioning road to a wider market, if income can only be gained in a grossly demeaning or dependency producing way, or if the poor live and work in an environment being undermined by outside forces lacking accountability.

The goals and means are often the same
The goals and means are often the same in the best poverty alleviation programs. Health, education, environmental sustainability, personal and community empowerment, access to economic opportunity: All these are worthy ends in themselves as well as prerequisites for escaping poverty traps. Effective poverty programs don’t just deliver services – they build capabilities and sustainable assets.