One common trap to avoid?

A few days ago, one effective altruist, who happens to be one of those people who do not believe in directly supporting local grassroots organizations in the global south, replied to my tweet, this time with a statement that is 100% correct.

He said: “many [of the] things we think of as causes of poverty are actually things caused by poverty: eg, corruption, lack of investment, crime, addiction etc”. That’s just it. The other phrases that I wish he had included in his statement are: embezzlement, African scamsters, Nigerian prince scam artists, etc.

Unlike his fellow effective altruists who believe that the global south as a whole doesn’t have a single local grassroots org that can effectively handle things as small as giving out mosquito nets to the extreme poor,

And unlike his fellow effective altruists who are convinced that the world’s poor in the global south must only wait for a single charity (GiveDirectly) to come and move them from poverty (rather than supporting local grassroots organizations), his words were 100% correct.

From the time international aid and global development became an established industry over 60 years ago, humanity has virtually never, ever funded local grassroots organizations in the global south, or at least not with more than 1% of global antipoverty funding. And, as someone who has permanently lives in a truly impoverished part of the planet, one thing that I can tell you (as I once said here) is:

Corruption or not, embezzlement or not, the little progress that humanity has made on ending extreme poverty in a place like Africa to date, has come from local grassroots orgs making do with just 1% of global anti-poverty funding, as well as the work of local entrepreneurs, and local governments.