Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Ending World Poverty

The UN Millennium Commission issued its report yesterday on how to combat world poverty. The bottom line: extreme poverty and death by preventable disease can be sharply reduced over the next decade by doubling the amount the developed world spends on aid to the poorest countries. In real terms, that means increasing development assistance from less than .25 percent of GDP to around .50 percent of GDP. In anticipation of the criticism from that hand outs to poor countries don't work, the proposal also calls for coordinating assistance with market-oriented solutions such as reductions in import restrictions on goods from sub-Saharan Africa and promotion of free trade. Some early comments on the report can be found here and here. The release of the report appears to have been timed with statements of support from the IMF and World Bank.