I watched a documentary on Netflix tonight that affirmed a growing sense I’ve had about international aid and traditional charity towards fighting poverty.
It doesn’t work, in fact, it perpetuates poverty.
Poverty, Inc. is a documentary produced by Acton Institute and does an excellent job demonstrating how our current aid model is keeping people in poverty. It’s eye-opening if you’ve never considered that the model is not working.
Giving people free stuff does not lift people out of poverty, it just makes them more dependent, and in the case of third world countries, it is devastating to local economies and businesses.
Watch the trailer here:
There is a place for “free stuff,” for instance to meet basic human needs in the aftermath of a natural disaster. But it must be short-term, and NGOs have to leave. They look in depth at the nation of Haiti who had thousands of NGOs come in after their devastating earthquake in 2010 and have yet to leave.
The free stuff is killing local producers.
What developing nations need are partners, something to consider when looking for organizations to support.