Wohltätigkeit in schweren Zeiten

PRINCETON – Auf meiner US-Lesereise, bei der ich mein neues Buch, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty , vorstelle, werde ich häufig gefragt, ob dies nicht der falsche Zeitpunkt sei, um wohlhabende Menschen aufzufordern, ihre Bemühungen, die Armut in anderen Ländern zu beenden, zu verstärken. Ich antworte nachdrücklich, dass dies nicht der Fall ist. Es gibt keinen Zweifel daran, dass die Weltwirtschaft in Schwierigkeiten ist. Doch wenn Regierungen oder Einzelne dies als Vorwand nähmen, um die Hilfe für die ärmsten Menschen der Welt zu reduzieren, würden sie die Schwere des Problems für die Welt als Ganzes nur vervielfachen.

Die Finanzkrise hat den Armen mehr geschadet als den Reichen. Ohne in irgendeiner Weise den wirtschaftlichen und psychologischen Schlag zu bagatellisieren, den Menschen hinnehmen müssen, wenn sie ihre Arbeit verlieren, verfügen Arbeitslose in wohlhabenden Ländern immer noch über ein Sicherheitsnetz in Form von Sozialversicherungsleistungen sowie in der Regel über kostenlose Gesundheitsfürsorge und kostenlose Bildung für ihre Kinder. Sie verfügen zudem über sanitäre Einrichtungen und Trinkwasser.

Die Armen in Entwicklungsländern haben keine dieser Annehmlichkeiten, was sich jedes Jahr für schätzungsweise 18�Millionen von ihnen als tödlich erweist. Die Anzahl der Todesopfer pro Jahr ist höher als während des Zweiten Weltkriegs, und sie ist leichter zu vermeiden.

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