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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:50 PM


A Simple Gift Can Have a Profound Impact

Posted: 11/21/2012 11:09 am
By Michael Hill

Poverty is a complicated problem, its causes so multiple and interconnected that trying to solve it often seems like an impossible Rubik's Cube of a task.

But finding a solution to poverty is exactly what humanitarian groups like Catholic Relief Services try to do every day. Working in almost 100 countries around the world, CRS targets the poorest of the poor; not just those on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, but those who are still trying to make it to the bottom rung so they can begin the climb up.

The irony: CRS and others have found that it is often the simplest of solutions that has the most profound effect on this complex problem.

Take the issue of finance. Accumulating capital is almost impossible for those who are living, quite literally, hand to mouth. If they get any money, they spend it on necessities so they find themselves trapped in a whirlpool of great need and small resources. Microfinance institutions have helped make a dent in this but sometimes even their small loans are too much for the extremely poor to consider. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of the adult population does not have access to financial institutions.


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