Thank you to everyone who phoned in to the The Food for All Summit last Wednesday, which was co-organized by the Bottom Billion Fund.
It was a pleasure and honor to host pioneering individuals and organizations from around the world as they work on solutions to end hunger and extreme poverty.
The summit featured policy makers, journalists, advocates, analysts, survivors and critical relief workers in the Horn of Africa famine, each of whom provided their first-hand perspective on the short-term and long-term solutions bringing about meaningful change in the fight to end poverty. The takeaway from the summit was that ending extreme poverty is not only possible, but it’s happening: Extraordinary progress is being made, and all of us can help.
Getting involved to help end extreme poverty can be transformative work. Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow for Global Agriculture & Food Policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, shared a story from when he was working as a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, covering the 2003 famine in Ethiopia:
“For me as a journalist, covering that famine was really a transformational period. One of the workers from the World Food Program who I came into contact with on my first day in Addis, Ethiopia, was outlining what we would be seeing as we went to visit some of the hunger zones. He told me something that has really stuck with me… and has been haunting in a sense.
What he said was, ‘Roger, looking into the eyes of someone dying from hunger becomes a disease of the soul. What you see is that nobody, particularly in the the 21st century, should be dying of hunger.’
And it was true. That then and there infected my soul as a being, as a person and as a journalist.”
I agree with Roger that no one, especially in the 21st century, should be dying of hunger. That’s why my team and I developed the Bottom Billion Fund, to bring a long-term solution to the industry that is focused on ending extreme poverty; we’re advocating for and fueling microfinance specifically tailored for bottom billion people.
Microfinance is already reaching 150 million families in the world, many amongst the bottom billion. The beauty of microfinance is that it can help people, even the poorest, become self-sufficient without the need for constant charity.
The Bottom Billion Fund helps microfinance keep focused on the poorest people with the greatest needs (who are also the most expensive to serve). We lend money, rather than spending it, and reinvest repaid capital (and paid interest) over and over again in proven Bottom Billion microfinance programs with documented social results. Our investments are not only long-term in their depth (that is, the ability to change a single life), but in their breadth, too (our model is replicable and scalable, capable of impacting change in communities around the globe).
Stayed tuned as we work to post to our website the audio recordings and transcripts from our Food for All Summit discussions with Roger Thurow, Ambassador Tony Hall (former US Rep. from Ohio and 3x Nobel Peace Prize Nominee), Adrian Lovett (ONE), Fran Equiza (Oxfam), Larry Reed (Microcredit Summit Campaign), Ken Patterson (RESULTS), and others.
In the meantime, this holiday season, consider giving a little to those who who have little and maximizing your impact. Bottom Billion Fund invests money over and over again in microfinance solutions for the world’s poorest people, investing to make extreme poverty history.
Thank you for your support in helping to launch the Bottom Billion Fund and make our initiative a reality in 2012.
With Best Wishes,