19 September 2005

Angelina and Jeff in Africa

From the IHT today: "MTV is airing a program called "The Diary of Angelina Jolie and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs in Africa." The hope is that the combination of A-list superstar and A-list economics geek can spark American interest in ending global poverty. The short film features Jolie and Sachs in Sauri, Kenya, a dirt-poor, steaming hot, HIV/AIDS-infested village. They visit what passes for a hospital, where several patients share the same bed.

Jolie is right when she says that putting money into village-level programs could do much to alleviate poverty. These are simple, smart and effective things: purchasing treated bed nets for battling malaria, providing malnourished children with a meal at school. In countries with corrupt strongmen, these programs can bypass the government. In countries with decent leaders, they work alongside the leaders' efforts.

It's time to transfer all those nice wishes at the top of the world food chain to those at the bottom."

It will certainly save that 80% administrative cost.

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