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The World's New Poor

September 26,2018 06:16

Bill and Melinda Gates make the excellent point that the world is facing a tragic stalling in the fight against extreme poverty. Their diagnosis is also sound: “Violent conflict, severe climate change, weak governance and broken health and education ...



To the Editor:
Re “Our Precarious Progress on Poverty” (Sunday Review, Sept. 23):
Bill and Melinda Gates make the excellent point that the world is facing a tragic stalling in the fight against extreme poverty. Their diagnosis is also sound: “Violent conflict, severe climate change, weak governance and broken health and education systems” are the new keys to poverty.
But their prescription of more effective investment in people, while necessary, is not sufficient. The new poor are, in a growing proportion of cases, the product of a tenfold increase in the number of civil wars since 1990. We need to address the roots of this problem as well as its symptoms. That means addressing the crisis of diplomacy that allows civil wars to fester.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are inspiring, but the failure to meet them will be debilitating unless there is a comprehensive response. Humanitarian aid can stanch the dying, but it takes diplomacy to stop the killing.
David MilibandNew YorkThe writer, a former British foreign secretary, is president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, an N.G.O. that provides humanitarian aid in countries affected by conflict and crisis.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A26 of the New York edition with the headline: The World’s New Poor. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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