IN THE UNITED STATES, THERE’S a growing scandal that we both refuse to see and actively perpetuate. What Americans avoid facing is that while we are very generous in charitable giving, much of that money is either wasted or actually harms the people it is targeted to help.
When we do for those in need what they have the capacity to do for themselves, we disempower them.
Africa can serve as a large-scale example of the problem. In the last fifty years, the continent has received $1 trillion in benevolent aid. How effective has this aid been? Country by country, Africans are far worse off today than they were a half century ago. Overall per-capita income is lower today than in the 1970s. Over half of Africa’s 700 million population lives on less than $1 a day. Life expectancy has stagnated, and adult literacy has plummeted below pre-1980 levels.
In a January 2011 Christianity Today article the question was posed to three veteran ministry leaders known for their commitment to the poor: Should Christians always give money to street people who ask for it?
Note: would be good to look up