The biggest disappointment

Global extreme poverty has failed to end.

And now that the pandemic has thrown ~ 100 million more people into extreme poverty, in addition to the over half a billion who were already living in extreme poverty before covid, it may simply never ever end.

What is very clear, however, is: global extreme poverty hasn’t failed to end because of the pandemic, or because there is somehow a shortage in global antipoverty funding. Nope. 

This has never been a problem.

Remember, a single global antipoverty agency like the UNDP for instance, spends $5 billion annually. That figure is actually $6.6 billion in 2022. This is bigger than the GDP of several African countries, and it is the annual budget of just one global antipoverty agency.

Global poverty has failed to end because, from the beginning of time, humanity has left the world’s ultra poor (i.e., those of us who subsist directly on less than $1.9 a day in the global south), on the sidelines of the global fight against poverty.

Year after year, humanity spends billions on ending global extreme poverty, in a way that makes it nearly impossible for the extreme poor in the global south to ever see a single penny of it.

Currently, 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 everything, 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 probably the hardest people humanity has ever bred.


The sad truth is:

For those of us at the very bottom of the pyramid, it is relatively easy to get some random person, say an anarchist club somewhere in London, to lend you a voice on extreme poverty, than to get anyone from the global development sector to work together with you on poverty, even in the slightest way.

These people have only one rule: the world’s ultra poor must only wait for their own solutions to come. 

And these guys are very true to their word. 

But their own solutions, which could have brought them together with the extreme poor, only reach very, very few random poor communities, and in most cases, these solutions often turn out to be very short-lived.

The biggest barrier though?

Humanity as a whole is convinced this is the way to go.

That’s, humanity really believes the best way to end global poverty, is for the world’s ultra poor to sit and wait for the right people (i.e., those from the development sector), to come and move them from poverty.

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

The result is that nearly all current solutions to ending global poverty have remained exclusively top-bottom, and largely short-lived. It has also meant that, in many of the truly impoverished remote rural areas of the world, particularly in Africa, there is nothing whatsoever that is happening to end poverty.

This is what makes it very, very hard for global extreme poverty to ever, ever end. Regardless, billions are still spent every year, in the name of ending global poverty, in a way that doesn’t touch the ultra poor in any way.