The worst part

The worst part of the global development journey, is that:

Humanity doesn’t just stop at refusing to support those of us who live on < $1.9/day in the global south. Rather, it goes further by taking away from us even the little that we have, awarding it all to the global north.

This leaves WE THE EXTREME POOR in the global south even poorer, all the while making rich countries in the global north even richer.

What I really mean:

Far from helping us escape poverty, the only time the world actually provides those of us in the global south with REAL AID, it only buries us in more debt, essentially placing a final nail in our coffin of poverty.

What is that real aid?

This kind of aid is often given in huge sums, but is very, very deadly.

This is the aid from large funding agencies that is primarily given as loans to national governments in poor countries (not to we the citizens who live directly on <$1.9/day), which aid only impoverishes WE THE POOR even more, through decades-long, sky-high interest payments.


A quick flashback:

Ideally, the only form of aid that has the potential to transform the livelihoods of WE THE POOR in the global south, without thereafter enslaving us for decades, is the aid that is genuinely philanthropic in nature. But currently, as I have already mentioned on this website:

#1. Only 1% of this form of aid (all charitable global antipoverty funding included), is what goes directly to the extreme poor in the global south as a whole.

#2. The 0ther 99%, meanwhile, remains in the hands of people (i.e. the development sector) who are very determined never to work directly with the extreme poor on anything, unless when rolling out their own solutions, which solutions only reach a few random poor communities.

Then comes the real aid:

At present, the only REAL aid that actually reaches the world’s poor in the global south, is the aid which, by its very nature — rather than the way its recipients use it —  impoverishes WE THE POOR even the more.

This is the money that comes from large bilateral and multilateral agencies (IMF, World Bank, IFC etc), which money is solely provided to our national governments, not to those of us who subsist directly on <$1.9/day, and is intended for government-led development projects.

This money, however, is called aid, but that is not what it is.

In reality, this money is mostly given as loans, like this one.

And as someone points out here in The Guardian, rich countries actually “receive more in interest payments from recipient countries [on this kind of aid]”, than what they give as aid — a bill which is then wholly passed on to those of us who live directly on < $1.9 a day.

Secondly, as said in the same Guardian article, and also here, this kind of aid even comes with lots of strings, like the fact that most of it must be spent on [overpriced] goods/services provided by contractors from the donor nations — implying, much of the original aid itself instantly goes back to the donor nations, yet it must still be repaid by the poor.

This form of aid is what then becomes the national debt in developing countries, which debt is then directly footed for decades by those of us who live on <$1.9 a day (through taxes), impoverishing us even more.

A bonus read on this topic, is Jason Hickel’s article “Aid in Reverse”, where he explains that “In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3 trillion, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3 trillion flowed out of them. In other words, developing countries sent $2 trillion more to the rest of the world than they received.”

Mr. Hickel further explains in the same article that, as of 2017, “developing countries have forked out over $4.2tn in interest payments alone since 1980… on a scale that dwarfs the aid that they received during the same period.”

That’s, the interest alone resulting from the aid received by WE THE POOR in the last 40 years is far higher than the total aid we received in those 40 years, yet the original aid itself which resulted in the $4.2 trillion interest, is also still owed.

And just to make this clear:

Some people are quick to argue that the reason the total amount of money that flows out of developing countries is bigger than the aid that flows in… is because some politicians and wealthy people in developing countries are probably trying to protect their wealth by moving it to safer places in the global north.

But here is why you can’t spin this: the figure $4.2tn is what flowed out of the developing world specifically as “interest” on the aid that was received within a 40-year period, and this figure was bigger than the aid itself that was received by poor countries during the same period.

There is no way the money that was transferred by wealthy people in developing countries into the west can be counted as “interest”. 

That’s, there is no way you can mix the two.

Some reflection:

Many people in the west often ask why poor countries, especially in Africa, have remained poor despite receiving billions in aid, for long.

On almost every online forum where people are discussing economic hardships in places like Haiti or Africa, the very first thing you read is people saying “billions and billions of dollars have been sent to these countries in aid, yet their people still live in abject poverty”.

What these people don’t realize is: 1) aid has always gone back to those who give it, taking along with it even the little we had , and 2) true aid, i.e., that which is truly philanthropic in nature, has always remained in the hands of the people from the global north, and has largely never ever reached those of us who live in ultra poverty, in the global south.

My appeal to those of you who genuinely care about the world’s poor. I know you people exist:

I know you people who genuinely care about the world’s poor are out there, and are in the millions. So, here is my humble message for you:

As you have seen, for those of us who are directly sweating out the direst forms of poverty in the global south, finding a path from chronic poverty is like overturning an entire mountain seated on your head.


On the one hand, even those people who send charitable dollars to help us escape extreme poverty, do it in such a way that is literally intended to make it impossible for people like us to ever see a single penny of it.

On the other, when it comes to government-level cooperation between the developed world and our impoverished countries, or between large bilateral/multilateral agencies and We The Poor, it is all about dragging us into more debts that even our grand, grand children will still owe.

So, this is my message:

For decades, the world has taught people like you, to view those of us who subsist directly on less than $1.9 a day in the global south with a suspicious eye (i.e., as wannabe fraudsters), and has instructed you to avoid any direct connection with people like us as much as possible.

The world has even given you a final, irrevocable instruction which says, ‘if you are to help the world’s poor exit poverty, you must only do so by placing your support behind the right people in the global north.’

My appeal:

If you are one of the people who have submitted to this kind of worldview, I am begging you to change your mind. In this, you are only helping bury those of us who live on <$1.9/day, into eternal poverty.  

What you need to know is:

The people who have conditioned you to think way, are instead the same ones who spend billions of global antipoverty dollars every year, by making sure they remain very, very inaccessible to the world’s poor.

One thing you must always remember is: even those people in Africa who have been labelled ‘scamsters’, ‘Nigerian prince scam artists’ etc, are where they are because of global poverty and economic inequality.

But still, these people’s behavior doesn’t even stack up to that of the global antipoverty elite who spend billions of global antipoverty dollars every year without making a dent in the lives of the ultra poor, and by deliberately making sure they remain very, very distant from the poor.