At World Growth, one of our key missions is to assist in ending the cycle of poverty that keeps a billion people locked in conditions of misery and despair.
As we survey the global economic picture, there is much good news – hundreds of millions of people have been and are being lifted out of poverty. The key vehicle for this trend is robust economic growth.
Nonetheless, there are large and persistent pockets of poverty where living standards are stagnant or even falling. The people who live in these conditions constitute what the scholar and development expert Paul Collier calls ‘The Bottom Billion.” At World Growth, we believe there is no more noble challenge than to help The Bottom Billion escape the ravages of poverty.
If one thing is increasingly clear, it’s is that the standard model for helping the world’s poor does not work. In many cases it is harmful. A system of government-to-government aid transfers does little to alleviate the conditions of endemic poverty. Instead, it bolsters and sustains the forces that are inimical to long-run economic growth. These include corrupt governments that undermine the necessary institutions for sustained economic growth.
World Growth advocates a better way for ending the cycle of poverty. It includes developing and expanding property rights for individuals in underdeveloped countries; transparent government practices; capital inflows and private-sector based technology transfers; the rule of law and protection of assets.
The residents of developing countries are not helpless victims. They are resourceful, entrepreneurial people who lack only the necessary institutions and infrastructure within which to flourish.
There will be enormous resistance to a new attempt at ending the cycle of poverty. Many institutions, including NGOs and multilateral aid agencies, have a now vested interest in sustaining the status quo. But this status quo has failed to deliver promised results. It is past time for change, and World Growth will be a catalyst for those changes. We hope you will join us.