The first instinct is to give a little of your money or things.
Such a gesture is valuable for the poor, because in the countries of the Global South, the currency from our countries in the Global North is much more valuable than in our country – more can be bought there. For a small donation someone can live a day longer or get a cure for a serious illness.
More determined people decide to go on a voluntary service. Their work for poor societies is full of sacrifices and risks, but it radically raises the quality of life of the natives, especially the work of specialists such as doctors.
However, the costs of trips to volunteering are high.
Charity and volunteering try to reduce the symptoms of poverty. However, they are not able to eliminate the causes, because the scale of needs in the world is too great.
A universal panacea would be to change the economic mechanisms that harm poor countries and introduce rules that will give them a high, predictable pace of development. For example:
- Tax preferences
It is immoral for rich countries to earn in poor countries, using duties and taxes on goods imported from them.
However, it must be borne in mind that many productions in poor countries hurt them more than they help, because they take place with the exploitation of the local workforce, the environment, and the avoidance of local taxes.
That is why we postulate zero customs and tax rates on goods imported from poor countries that meet Fair Trade terms. In this way, you can strive to equalize the opportunities of Fair Trade goods on the market, because their production is more expensive.
- Reconciliation of the international division of labor
Poor countries have very limited production conditions, generally they could deal with agriculture. Using an international division of labor, rich and fairly well-developed countries would have to ensure that they will not compete in production that will be allocated to poor countries (eg countries A, B, C will produce millet, countries D, E, F maize, etc.).
- Abandoning one’s own interests in the process of supporting poor countries
In order to create demand for goods produced by poor countries in the process of supporting them, it is necessary to refrain from setting conditions such as purchasing goods necessary to implement assistance only from their own country. On the contrary, it is necessary to support production, transport and other services as well as technical thought produced in poor countries.
- Invite representatives of poor countries to give their opinion on economic decisions taken in rich countries
Some decisions affecting a rich country have an impact on poor countries, such as subsidizing their own agriculture (creating unequal competition for agriculture from poor countries). Decision makers either are not aware of such an influence or disregard it, only caring for the applause of their own citizens. A permanent opinion-giving representation of poor countries in the parliaments of rich countries and international organizations would give a voice to those whose voices are not heard.
The role of citizens
In democratic societies, MPs and governments try to follow the will of the majority of citizens. Therefore, it is essential that for the greatest part of society the fate of the poor countries is at the center of attention.
- We should popularize information about them so that they no longer seem to be a distant curiosity about folklore.
- With the support of conscious citizens, we can create and support organizations that will work to change the economic mechanisms affecting poor countries.
- Even without appropriate organizations, you can express our opinions, directing them to decision makers who can initiate changes.
- Look at the hands of governments, organizations and companies in your country – first, do not let harm poor countries. Find out if they are not involved in armed conflicts, whether they exploit people, resources, the environment, or avoid taxation, whether they corrupt policy makers, subsidize goods that compete with local production, or create customs and tax barriers, etc. !