Keep Your Zipwire And Your i360 – We Need Homes

From need grows want, from want grows desire, and from desire grows greed.

It is this final stage which now holds hostage the ambitions and policies of decision makers.

In our “civilised society” we cater not for what is needed, but rather what greed encourages us to chase. Implementing changes and enacting policies which are for the benefit of the few rather than to support the basic needs of the many.

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The Lives We Have Saved

In the 12-months of 2015, myself and 11 other comrades embarked on a commitment of Effective Altruism.

Our pledge was to donate a percentage of our monthly wages to charities that are capable of making the biggest impact at the lowest cost. Embodying the very nature of the phrase “more bang for your buck”, we paid money to those organisations who could save, or at least drastically improve, the most lives.

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Why Energy Access Is The Most Powerful Solution To Poverty

There is no panacea for alleviating poverty, but providing access to energy appears to be the next best thing.

As a Fundraising Officer much of what I say to potential donors is in the future tense. We will secure X, this will enable Y, which will benefit Z. Though my words are based on previous findings and accurate projections, donors are, understandably, often sceptical.

The bold claims that we make in our applications and during our presentations seem too good to be true. How can a single intervention improve not only the health of the people it is for, but also their education, their nutrition, their income, the gender inequality in the area, and also combat climate change? Those unaware of the reality would dismiss our claims as falsehoods, but they are not.

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Dambisa Moyo On Why The Fight Against Poverty Is Also The Fight Against Terrorism

Before Boko Haram were making global headlines for their criminal activities, murderous rampages, and pension for kidnap, there was little news of them in the West.

The potential for such organisations to be formed, and such activities to be performed, has always existed though. Where weak infrastructure and institutions are present, where corruption is rampant, and where far too many people are living in poverty, radical extremist organisations have the fertile ground needed to flourish.

Writing in Dead Aid in 2009, Dambisa Moyo warned of the dangers that faced the region, and indeed the world, if the situation in Africa was ignored.

Though the book focuses primarily on the aid given to poverty-stricken African states, and how it has failed to deliver on its promises, Moyo also gives a stark warning to the world. With hindsight we see that this warning has not been heeded, and that Boko Haram have made Moyo’s prophecy a terrible reality.

“Leaving the question of morality aside, there are good reasons based on national interest for the West to help. In the fractured world of Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, Africa’s fragile and impoverished states are a natural haven for global terrorists. Porous borders, weak law enforcement and security institutions, plentiful and portable natural resources, disaffected populations, and conflict zones make perfect breeding grounds for all sorts of global terrorist organisations.”

If for no other reason than the self-interests of nations national security, the fight against poverty is one that everybody should do their utmost to succeed in. And the sooner it occurs, the better.

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Renewable World: Tackling Poverty Through Renewable Energy

“We met women who are beaten every day by their husbands for asking for money for food. They are brought up to believe that if your husband doesn’t hit you he doesn’t love you. We met women who have to sell fish their husbands have caught. But the tradesmen buying the fish know they will rot after 4-5 hrs in the heat. So they stand there with their trucks full of ice and toy with the women as the price of their fish decreases while the clock ticks, eventually agreeing only to buy them from the women who will grant them sexual favours. I met women who have to walk four kilometres to fetch a can of water eight times a day. I consider myself fairly strong but I tried lifting one can and could barely carry it a metre. Some of these women have to send their daughters alone after school from the age of seven to collect this water instead, where they are often abused by men from other villages.”

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