This is something that I’ve been thinking about lately: what’s the best way to help out poorer countries? My parents have recently arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo for an 18 month mission. One of the things that they have commented on is the poverty. They’ve travelled to other places and have seen poverty there (e.g.: Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia), but nothing to quite this extent.

This got me thinking - what’s the best way of combating poverty in a developing country? It seems like no one has money for major infrastructure projects (even for important things like water treatment or water pumping stations), let alone roads or bridges. So if no one has the money for infrasctructure like that, what’s the best way to help people? Is it better to work with individuals? Villiages? Or is it better to raise the captial for larger scale projects and hope that the economies of scale provide better returns? There’s roughly 80 million people in the DRC. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, a lot of water to treat, a lot of sanitation to deal with, and a lot of healthcare needs.

I have to hand to to Bill and Melinda gates for trying to tackle some of these issues.