Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Poverty: What does it mean?

One of my (many) criticisms of charities aiming to "make poverty history" in Africa, is that they never define what they mean by poverty. Try and find a definition on Christian Aid's website, or any of the other charities -- or try writing to them and you will see what I mean.

The UK Charity Commision have really helped muddy the waters now to the point of 100% turbidity. According to a Third Secor report: 'poverty', in charity law "means people who are financially disadvantaged"..... It continues 'in developing countries the phrase could mean those "who lack even the most basic essential to sustain life, such as clean water, food or shelter. But in the UK, it could refer to those "living on less than 60 per cent of the average income, or below the level of income support." Talk about all people being equal, but some being more equal than others...." Either way, it remains to be seen how any of the organisations aiming to raise the entire human population of Africa out of poverty, intend to do it. While it may be a noble aim, I would suggest that it is an impossibility, and that they are misleading the public by suggesting it can be done. Worse still some of the methods being used could actually be creating long-term poverty. Goats for eaxample, to cite my bete noir....

1 comment:

  1. Can someone please explain to me what green issues mean if you are doing it for a product.

    I would appreciate it very much