Review of Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

Ruger JP. Invited. Review of Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, Global Public Health, 2007; 2(2): 206-9.

As the old adage reads, ‘Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.’ The values of this simple proverb relate directly to the underlying theme of Jeffrey Sachs’ new book on poverty and development. Sachs argues that the key to ending poverty in our lifetime is for wealthy G8 countries to increase development aid to poorer countries, particularly in Africa. Previous explanations for continual and worsening world poverty, Sachs argues, have focused on the wrong prescriptions, for the wrong reasons. For example, corruption, a common target of blame by many development practitioners and agencies, especially around the administration of large amounts of foreign aid, is not the problem experts claim it is. Rather, Sachs sees corruption as a masquerade for deeper prejudice on the part of the non-African world; corruption is an excuse to limit foreign aid and enable indifference towards the African continent.

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