PovertyCure Challenge and Vision

The Challenge of Global Poverty

We are called to a loving and generous concern for the poor. Yet for many of us with a heart for the poor, the statistics are almost overwhelming. More than a billion people live on less than US$1.25 a day. Every year, millions of men, women and children die from AIDS, malaria and other preventable diseases. Tens of millions lack clean water and go to bed hungry.

There is, however, reason for hope. Although we cannot create heaven on earth, we know what it takes for the poor to be able to create new wealth for themselves and rise out of poverty. Indeed, there exist powerful tools that could allow us to make enormous strides in creating prosperous societies. It is time to rethink poverty. It is time to put the person, made in the image of God, at the center of the economy. It is time to help unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the developing world.

The PovertyCure Vision

When we put the person at the center of our economic thinking, we transform the way we look at wealth and poverty. Instead of asking what causes poverty, we begin to ask, what causes wealth? What are the conditions for human flourishing from which prosperity can grow? And how can we create and protect the space for people to live out their freedom and responsibilities?

It is time to move:

  • From aid to enterprise
  • From poverty alleviation to wealth creation
  • From paternalism to partnerships
  • From handouts to investments
  • From seeing the poor as consumers or burdens to seeing them as creators
  • From viewing the poor as recipients of charity to acknowledging them as agents of change with dignity, capacity, and creativity.
  • From viewing people and economies as experiments to pursuing solidarity with the poor
  • From encouraging dependency to integrating the poor into networks of productivity and exchange
  • From subsidies and protectionism to open trade and competition
  • From seeing the global economy as a fixed pie to understanding that human enterprise can grow economies

PovertyCure Goals

  • Promote the dignity of the person and the family.
  • Shift the locus of responsibility from international organizations to the poor themselves.
  • Encourage vibrant communities and voluntary civil associations—distinct from the state—since they are crucial for authentic human flourishing and help build solidarity.
  • Build and encourage institutions of private property, rule of law, free association, free exchange and a culture of trust, which serve to 1) free the poor to connect to networks of productivity and exchange, 2) create a positive climate for business and entrepreneurship, 3) promote the freedom to pursue productive work free of oppression and theft, and 4) promote a culture of enterprise that unleashes human potential and enterprise.
  • Promote authentic respect for the health and dignity of women and children from conception to natural death.
  • Promote free, honest and competitive market economies—not oligarchic or crony capitalism.
  • Create conditions and institutions that allow people in the developing world to develop and sustain ready access to clean water.
  • End the subsidies, cartels and protectionist policies of the developed world. They hurt the poor, protect the wealthy from competition, give unfair advantage to big business and facilitate corruption.
  • Shift the focus in the development community away from government-to-government transfers and toward face-to-face partnerships informed by local knowledge and marked by mutual respect and understanding.
  • Free up developing countries to combat malaria and other diseases using the same effective tools the developed world has used to eradicate diseases.
  • Reject neo-colonial presumptions that the poor are helpless, and cultivate respectful, mutually beneficial working relationships between Christians from the developed and developing worlds.

Statement of Principles

Go deeper by reading the PovertyCure Statement of Principles.