Friday, June 17, 2005

Why the "One" Campaign Won't Work

By now, many people have heard of the "One" Campaign (see: As with most things, it has wonderful intentions. Unfortunately, as the editors of the Kairos Journal explain, it won't work. They write: "We fervently support and encourage truly effective means to address the distress of the poor. Yet, in failing to identify the true causes of Third World poverty and thus advocate useful real solutions, the 'Make Poverty History' campaign is not just misguided, it is actually harmful." Read the whole article for their arguments.

World Magazine's new cover story is also on this issue, and they come to the same conclusion. They show that the debt relief will go to the government of the poor countries, not to the people. Macro-goals do not provide for the kind of accountability that is necessary and that actually works. Further, they argue that debt relief would have a chilling effect both on credit and on private charity.