Helping the poor – feeling or doing good?

Christianity Today addresses the issue of effective ways to fight poverty in it’s latest issue.  It highlights the problem that so often we give to feel good rather than to do good.  In the article, “Cost Effective Compassion: The 10 Most Popular Strategies for Helping the Poor,” economists specialising in analysing development programs were asked to rate from 0-10 some of the most common poverty interventions in terms of their impact and cost-effectiveness.

It’s an interesting list and worth at least a few minutes reflection as you sip your Fairtrade coffee – or perhaps not.

1. Get clean water to rural villages (Rating: 8.3)
2. Fund de-worming treatments for children (Rating: 7.8)
3. Provide mosquito nets (Rating: 7.3)
4. Sponsor a child (Rating: 6.9)
5. Give wood-burning stoves (Rating: 6.0)
6. Give a micro-finance loan (Rating 4.2)
7. Fund reparative surgeries (Rating: 3.9)
8. Donate a farm animal (Rating 3.8)
9. Drink fair-trade coffee (Rating. 1.9)
10. Give a kid a laptop (1.8)

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