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Solutions vs. Relief
November 24, 2011Posted by on
It is good to provide relief to those in need, but that’s far from enough. Providing just relief to poor countries has the negative effect of making them to depend on help, and not being capable to manage on their own. What we need is to find permanent solutions, so we help the poor people to manage on their own. We have to get to the core of things, to get to the cause and that will fix the effects.
Unfortunately, most of the charities in this world are not coming with solutions. They just provide temporary relief.
For example, the World Food Programme is just giving food to the poor, making them to depend on external help. Instead, it should focus on buying or renting land in the countries where people need help (or in the neighboring countries – in case the governments don’t allow them), in order to involve the poor people in the agriculture and food making process, giving them jobs and teach them how to manage themselves. Also, they should involve into creating food processing facilities and chains of food shops, giving more jobs, and creating a complete infrastructure for food.
Another example: Habitat for Humanity is giving houses to the poor for free. Instead, they should rent the houses to the poor, and not only to the poor. Once Habitat for Humanity owns a house, it can rent it at a decent price. Doing so, it will protect people to be victims of real estate speculation, and in the same time, it can generate a constant revenue to keep building more houses. Of course they don’t need to make an unlimited number of houses, because a limited population needs only a limited number of houses. They should not rent two houses to a single family, of course. Therefore, they should start renting houses (or better, apartments) to the people who can afford, protecting them from speculation, and making a sustainable revenue in order to build houses for the poor. Another benefit of that approach is that once the people are protected from speculation, that will create a more stable society, preventing financial crisis, that means even more protection for the poor and the middle class. Unfortunately, what Habitat for Humanity is doing is: it gives a house for free to a poor family, and then the poor family can sell the house and then go back to live in poverty or in the slums. The poor family is tempted to sell the house, because it’s a lot of money. Even worse, after a few years, if they want to buy a house, they have to pay more money, because of the real estate speculation. Unfortunately, Habitat for Humanity is helping the real estate speculation, because instead of renting the houses, they give them for free.
If you try to dig a bit, you will see that most of the charities in this world work very similar: they provide relief, instead of coming with solutions. The vast majority of those charities are not capable of organic growth, they don’t have forums, blogs, and most of them don’t even answer to e-mails when you ask them questions. They lack the capacity to communicate.