Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Quote of the Day – g20 in perspective

“In London, Washington and Paris, people talk of bonuses or no bonuses…in parts of Africa, South Asia and Latin America, the struggle is for food or no food…the greatest price for incompetence at the summit will be borne by the poorest people in the world.

Oxfam has calculated that financial firms around the world have already received or been promised $8.4 trillion in bailouts. Just a week’s worth of interest on that sum while it’s waiting to be deployed would be enough to save most of the half-million women who die in childbirth each year in poor countries.”

Nicholas Kristoff, NY Times, At Stake are More than the Banks, April 1, 2009

A different more pro-active spin on the above comes from Lynne Twist:
“This is a time that I think history will look back on and say, ‘These are the people, this is the generation of humankind that went through a transformation that made the future of life possible. These are the people who had the courage to make profound changes in the way they were thinking, as well as in the way that they were behaving, that gave the future to life itself.”

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Written by Aman

April 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm

One Response

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  1. Aman,
    In your brief post, you highlight a fundamental and forgotten issue. As we grow senseless in the fear of economic collapse, governments around the world are pouring money into fledgling companies, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into corrupt and greedy hands and simply delaying the closures and bankruptcies that will surely come. We have lost touch with the real issues and the real problems. An economic system that has allowed so many women to die in childbirth is a system that Must collapse and be reborn. Post-Cold War Capitalism is dead; and this may not be a bad thing. All of this so called progress, wealth and civilization has come at the cost of billions of people around the world whose reality cannot be reconciled with the lavish lifestyles and abuses we now see highlighted on media news screens. It is unseemly for me to believe that in the same world, a football player can be offered one hundred million pounds to play while millions die of cholera in Zimbabwe, of meningitis in Darfur and so many more wonder whether they will be able to afford a meal for their children tomorrow. I had such hopes that November’s historic and evocative election would bring forth this same realization in the halls of power. Instead of investing in the developing world, creating initiatives to develop effective treatments for the diseases that ravage the African continent and develop communities by educating and training health professionals, we throw mountains of cash on financial monsters that then slap us all across the face by giving bonuses to the architects of this fiasco. I do not believe that the answer to these tremendous problems faced by people in the developing world lies in aid. Humanitarian aid serves to belittle the incredible capacity and desire of local communities to propel themselves forward. Through training and educational programs, such as the ones sponsored by the UK’s Department of International Development in Rwanda efficiently provide the knowledge and services so desperately required while fomenting local industries. It is this kind of economic investment that will lift the world out of its sorry state. The unexpected blast of the dramatic downturn we are drowning in has left us deaf and dumb. I hope that enough people will have the foresight to propose and enforce policies that concern themselves with the plight of the poorest and by investing in the health and education of women, create a new world order where socioeconomic gaps are finally bridged and economics service the many and not the few.

    Camila Navarro

    April 7, 2009 at 12:59 am


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