Orskov Foundation

Paradigm Lost - Why can't we just give the poor money?

In 2003 Lord Desai, Professor Emeritus of the LSE said ‘We are giving fifty billion dollars of overseas aid. There are a billion poor people in the world. Why don’t we just find the poor and give them one dollar a week and do nothing else. No questions asked. What they do with the money is not our concern. That would probably do more to relieve poverty than anything else’ OK. Why not?

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to




  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Lord Desai went on to say, "‘We impose so many conditions on those countries that receive money: they have to be gender sensitive; poor people must participate directly; they must have sustainability; they must have environmental friendliness; and they must have transparency, accountability, and so on...I do not understand why we think that it will be effective in removing poverty" The challenge is... Are there any donors out there that have the guts to put up, shut up and give no-strings support to test this idea?