| THE ATTACK ON WORLD POVERTY|
Going Back to Basics
by Benny Dembitzer
For over 50 years there have been attempts, some not very deter-mined, some more serious, to tackle world poverty. Very little, if anything has fundamentally changed in the poorest countries.
What are the reasons? Have policy-makers of the world not tried hard enough? Have they used the wrong tools? Have world events defeated the objectives of those who are concerned?
This book tries to look squarely at some of the problems of development that everyone - from the South and from the North - has tried, and is still trying, to address, and some that we are avoiding altogether.
The forces stacked against the poorest countries and their poorest people are far greater than the rich world is prepared to admit. The growth of population, global warming, worsening terms of trade, migration of qualified people to the North, global arms sales, annual repayments of interest on debts of around $3 trillion, illicit transfers of money of around $1 trillion per year, a narcotics trade worth around $500 billion per year, a loss of arable land and a decrease in the quantity of food available are all leading to a human catastrophe. Total aid from the North to the South (amounting by the most generous calculations to less than 0.02% of total global wealth) is far too little to counteract the forces that are impoverishing the poorest. If those concerned wish to avoid the most horrendous catastrophe, they have to embrace new strategies that can spur far more positive action.
Benny Dembitzer has been both a practitioner and an academic in economic development. He has taught at Cambridge, Cranfield, London South Bank, Greenwich and London Metropolitan Universities. He has worked in 35 countries in Africa and 2 in Asia, working for both statutory bodies (the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, the International Trade Centre, the UN Industrial Development Organisation, Commonwealth Secretariat, Department for International Development) and various voluntary agencies (OXFAM, CARE International, War on Want, Skillshare Africa, Society for International Development, Fund for Research and Investment for the Development of Africa).