Let me double down on this:

The only way global poverty can end, is by putting the ultra poor, i.e., the people who themselves live on less than $1.9 a day in the global south, directly at the helm of ending extreme poverty.

Call it a bottom-up approach.

Everything else is only a timepass, and will never ever end global poverty.

In many of the poorest, remote rural areas of the world, like where I live, it is very hard to find a single activity that is taking place to end extreme poverty. Entire communities are always silent, people are destitute, with no trace of anything in place to end poverty.

The extreme poor, meanwhile, permanently live in there, and are therefore best placed to end extreme poverty, if only they were at the helm, or if they were accorded the means to take charge of events.

The bad news is:

Humanity really insists that the world’s ultra poor must instead sit and wait for the right people to come & move them from poverty. For this reason, the world really is opposed to the idea of directly supporting the extreme poor, in the global south.

Today, only 1% of ALL the money that is intended to end global poverty, is what goes directly to the extreme poor in the global south.

The other 99% only reaches the poor through very chanceful, trickle-down processes. However, with most rural poor communities dead silent all year round as mentioned above, with no single activity whatsoever taking place to end poverty, that 99% very rarely — if ever — reaches the extreme poor.

This is what makes a final end to global extreme poverty a very chanceful, opportunistic process.

In a place like ours, i.e., Kamuli & Buyende, in eastern Uganda, a really impoverished remote rural region that stretches over 3,300 sq km, it is very hard to spot a single activity that is taking place to end extreme poverty, let alone as a result of the global fight against poverty.

The extreme poor, meanwhile, permanently live in these impoverished communities, and are therefore best placed to end extreme poverty, with continuity, if only they were at the helm.

Still, the world really insists that the world’s poor must instead sit and wait for the right people to come & move them from poverty. For this reason, humanity really is opposed to the idea of directly supporting the extreme poor, in the global south.

Today, only 1% of ALL the money that is intended to end global poverty, is what goes directly to the extreme poor in the global south.

To complicate it all, the people from the global development sector, who keep the other 99% of global antipoverty funding, and who could have been the ultimate allies of the poor, are instead the same people who will never ever work directly with the extreme poor on anything, unless when rolling out their own predetermined solutions.

The day humanity will find the courage to put aside its hidden fears about the world’s ultra poor, e.g. the fear that these people could be fraudsters, and thus start directly supporting the people who themselves live on < $1.9 a day in the global south, is the day global poverty will end.

If humanity really wants to END global poverty once and for all, a poor people-led approach, or a bottom-up approach to ending extreme poverty, is the only thing that will ever end global poverty.

Poor people-led, grassroots change, is the only change that will ever last, long after every other goodwiller has left.

That means directly supporting the people at the very bottom of the pyramid, and putting the ultra poor directly at the helm.

But currently, only 1% of all Official Development Assistance (funding from agencies like USAID, UKAID etc), and an even smaller (i.e. < 1%) portion of humanitarian assistance (all charitable global antipoverty funding included), goes directly to the extreme poor in the global south.

To complicate it all, the people from the global development sector, who keep the other 99% of global antipoverty funding, and who could have been the ultimate allies of the poor, are instead the same people who will never ever work directly with the extreme poor on anything, unless when rolling out their own predetermined solutions.

But their own solutions only reach a few random poor communities. And as someone one said here, these solutions often turn out to be short-lived. 

This is what makes a final end to global extreme poverty a very chanceful, opportunistic process.

For those of us who are directly battling the hardest forms of poverty in the global south, it is nearly impossible to escape extreme poverty under current approaches to ending global poverty.

The global development sector, or the global antipoverty movement, who could have been the ultimate allies of people like us, are instead a very distant, very separate group whom the ultra poor can only dream of befriending, or working together with on anything.

A totally different class of people whom you can use the kindest and the politest words to beg and beg, in a quest to get them to work together with you on extreme poverty, but who will still say no, contrary to what these people often tell the world.

And the problem is that humanity as a whole really believes these people are the ones the world’s poor must wait for, to move them from chronic poverty. 

For this reason, the world really is very opposed to the idea of directly supporting the extreme poor, in the global south. 

The day humanity will find the BALLS to put aside its hidden fears about the world’s ultra poor, e.g., the fear that these people could be fraudsters, and thus start directly supporting the people who themselves live on < $1.9 a day in the global south, is the day global poverty will end.

To me, the day the global development sector decided that they will instead be remaining on opposite sides with the world’s extreme poor, where their only job is to bring one-way solutions to the extreme poor, rather than working as integral counterparts, is the day the world lost the global fight against poverty.

And honestly, that is the day humanity sealed the fate for people like us. 

If humanity really wants to END global poverty once and for all, a poor people-led approach, or a bottom-up approach to ending extreme poverty, is the only thing that will ever end global poverty.

Poor people-led, grassroots change, is the only change that will ever last, long after every other goodwiller has left.

That means directly supporting the people at the very bottom of the pyramid, and putting the ultra poor directly at the helm.

But currently, only 1% of all Official Development Assistance (funding from agencies like USAID, UKAID etc), and an even smaller (i.e. < 1%) portion of humanitarian assistance (all charitable global antipoverty funding included), goes directly to the extreme poor in the global south.

To complicate it all, the people from the global development sector, who keep the other 99% of global antipoverty funding, and who could have been the ultimate allies of the poor, are instead the same people who will never ever work directly with the extreme poor on anything, unless when rolling out their own predetermined solutions.

But their own solutions only reach a few random poor communities. And as someone one said here, these solutions often turn out to be short-lived. 

This is what makes a final end to global extreme poverty a very chanceful, opportunistic process.

Humanity. What a species!

By deciding that supporting the global antipoverty elite, rather than the extreme poor themselves, is the best thing to do, humanity as a creation is directly complicit in disenfranchising those of us at the very bottom of the pyramid, and is directly responsible for making a final end to global extreme poverty a very chanceful process.

The whole idea of supporting “the world’s most effective charities”, or “only well-vetted charities”, which in reality only means supporting big western charities, is the very reason the world’s extreme poor are where they are today.

This, in particular, is what I call humanity’s pretext(s) for wanting to keep people like us in chronic poverty even in 2030.

Because it is exactly what keeps 99% of global antipoverty funding away from the extreme poor, while keeping it in the hands of people who barely work with the poor, or at best, whose work is only present in very, very few random poor communities, and which work (as one American writer says here) tends to be very short-lived.

People’s livelihoods only keep getting harder, regardless of what the world is talking in New York or in Davos, and regardless of how much is being spent on ending extreme poverty.

Young people from my country are flocking to the Middle East (Saudi, Oman, UAE etc), only to come back in caskets, because of crippling poverty and unemployment back home. 

This could all really change, and global poverty surely would end for once, if humanity directly supported the people who live in ultra poverty.

As someone who has been in the crosshairs of ultra poverty my whole life, and as someone who has seen countless antipoverty interventions come and go without leaving a trace, I firmly believe:

A strict adherence to top-bottom approaches simply won’t end global poverty.

The only way global poverty can end, is by putting the ultra poor, i.e., the people who themselves live on less than $1.9 a day in the global south, directly at the helm of ending extreme poverty.

Call it a bottom-up approach.

Everything else is only a timepass, and will never ever end global poverty.

For those of us who are directly sweating out the hardest forms of poverty in the global south, it is nearly impossible to escape extreme poverty under current approaches to ending global poverty.

It is precisely impossible.

So, for the period leading up to 2030, I have set for myself a new goal:

Between now and Dec 31, 2030, I will be using every single minute that I am awake to persistently rage, and to consistently vent my pain, until humanity as a species a) changes its approaches to ending global poverty and b) drops its pretext(s) for wanting to keep people like us in chronic poverty even in 2030.

So help me God. Help me dear humanity.