The Acton Institute is leading a new initiative called PovertyCure to help the poor in developing countries. Their approach is to rethink poverty by putting the human person at the center of the discussion.
PovertyCure is an international network of organizations and individuals seeking to ground responses to global poverty in a proper understanding of human dignity and flourishing. According to their new Web site:
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? …
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.
As PovertyCure explains, these tools include respect for human dignity, honest labor, the rule of law, limited government, strong families, vibrant communities and voluntary associations, private property, enterprise and free exchange, and a culture that promotes trust and honesty.
These are the same principles that The Heritage Foundation advocates in our booklet Freedom Economics and Human Dignity and our DVD curriculum Seek Social Justice. While these resources focus on helping poor people in America, PovertyCure applies a similar framework of thinking to global poverty.
Motivated by a Christian worldview, PovertyCure affirms that charity and almsgiving play an indispensable role in helping the poor. Yet “the goal for charitable organizations should be to help the poor move beyond dependency.” This means shifting the focus from giving more aid through government-to-government transfers to encouraging the conditions that foster economic productivity and opportunity, the same approach advocated by The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.
As Acton expert Michael Miller explains on an introductory video, “Good intentions don’t end poverty. Enterprise and freedom end poverty.”
To view the video, click here.