La charité en temps de crise

PRINCETON – Alors que je suis en tournée aux Etats-Unis pour faire la promotion de mon nouveau livre The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty [la vie que vous pouvez sauver�: agir aujourd’hui pour mettre fin à la pauvreté dans le monde], on me demande souvent si le moment n’est pas mal choisi pour demander aux riches de faire davantage d’efforts pour mettre un terme à la pauvreté des autres pays. Je réponds catégoriquement que non. Il ne fait aucun doute que l’économie mondiale est en difficulté. Mais si les gouvernements ou les individus utilisent cette situation comme excuse pour réduire leur aide aux plus pauvres, ils ne feront qu’aggraver le problème pour le monde dans son ensemble.

La crise financière a davantage porté préjudice aux pauvres qu’aux riches. Sans vouloir d’aucune façon minimiser le choc économique et psychologique que subissent ceux qui perdent leur emploi, les chômeurs des pays riches ont encore un filet de sécurité, sous la forme d’allocations sociales, bénéficient généralement de soins de santé gratuits, et leurs enfants d’un accès gratuit à l’éducation. Ils ont aussi un système sanitaire et une eau potable.

Les pauvres des pays en développement n’ont rien de tout cela, ce qui coûte la vie à 18�millions d’entre eux chaque année. C’est un bilan annuel plus lourd que celui de la Première Guerre mondiale, et il est plus facile à empêcher.

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