Reader Question: Are There Permanent Solutions to Poverty?

Nancy Fitzpatrick: What projects sponsored by the “first” world hold the most promise for helping people permanently lift out of poverty – or at least out of extreme poverty?

Microfinance programs–in which people are given small loans (usually under $100) to start businesses–have lifted thousands of families out of poverty. People in the developing world are just as entrepreneurial as those in the developed world; they just don’t have access to the money they need to get started and make their ideas reality. It’s inspiring how relatively quickly a family can move out of extreme poverty once they’ve launched a home-based business like a poultry farm or snack kiosk.

– Laura Sheahen, CRS regional information officer

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