Last Thursday, I had a chance to listen to Jeffrey Sachs, an economics professor from Columbia. I happened upon it by chance, as I’ve never heard of the man. He gave some startling statistics about extreme poverty. Here’s a website with some stats that he cited. http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/resources/fastfacts_e.htm
Just the single statistic that 6M children (under the age of 5) die every year due to malnutrition is disturbing. It’s difficult to fathom the number of broken hearted parents and siblings. This would be my worst nightmare happening to millions of families every year, and the most regrettable part is that malnutrition is preventable.
Professor Sachs preached hope that this is a problem that is not only solvable, but solvable within our life time. Whether you believe him or not, it’s difficult to ignore our responsibility as part of the "wealthy". Or, our responsibility as Christians.
Admittedly, our family’s charitable giving since we’ve started our charity budget has been somewhat unfocused. This talk certainly grabbed my attention, and we’ll likely be reviewing our policies to focus on the highest priority needs moving forward. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome. Over the next year, I’m hoping to pick up Professor Sachs book: End of Poverty. The problem seems overwhelming and it’s difficult to know where to start… but that doesn’t seem a sufficient excuse to ignore the problem.