This first appeared on Compassion Internationals Blog on Aug 21, 2015. It’s well worth the reblog today.
At one point in the movie trailer, an entrepreneur in Haiti states, “No one wants to be a beggar for life.” The room immediately erupted in applause! I knew at that moment this documentary would be important in the dialogue of how we partner with the church for children in poverty.
In early 2015, Compassion invited Miller and his colleagues Jonathan Moody, Managing Director of PovertyCure, and Simon Scionka, director of photography for Poverty, Inc., to provide an early screening of the movie and to engage Compassion in a conversation about what they’ve learned and what it means for Compassion.
The film provides a critique of the system of aid that began as a response to the global needs following World War II, and shows how those same financial solutions are often misapplied to a wide variety of holistic problems facing the evolving global economy.
Poverty, Inc. asks the probing question, “Could I be part of the problem?”
The documentary cites the impact of food tariffs and subsidies between USA-based rice producers and Haiti that have undermined local food production and ruined aspects of the Haitian economy. Subsidized rice from the USA has become so cheap that it now dominates the diet and has supplanted other indigenous foods.
Other examples of aid that can do more harm than good include: mass clothing donations to Africa, one-for-one giving models that are not locally sourced, and solar power hardware donations.
Poverty, Inc. labels this system of aid “the global poverty industry,” and it distributed over $134 billion (USD) in official development assistance in 2013 alone.
The main players in this industry, according to the documentary, include the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. From these organizations, foreign aid flows directly between countries and is also routed through a complex web of grants to NGOs, consultants, and multi-national corporations.
So what’s the film’s answer to this powerful system that continues to promote solutions that seem to be keeping people in poverty instead of releasing them from it?
Read more on Compassion International’s Blog.
I thought this was the perfect reblog for today’s Compassion Wednesday post and my 1 year Blogging Anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Lots of stories told, lots more to tell. Thanks for your continued encouragement and support. You are the best.
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