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Peter Singer

Peter Singer

Those of us who care at all may send a donation to one of the agencies trying to help: ten dollars, or fifty dollars, or perhaps even a hundred dollars. Any more would be a rare act of generosity by the standards of our society. Yet those of us fortunate enough to live in Western Europe, North America, Australia, or Japan regularly spend as much or more on holidays, new clothes, or presents for our children. If we cared about the lives and welfare of strangers in Africa as we do about our own welfare and that of our children, would we spend money on these nonessential items for ourselves instead of using it to save lives? Of course, we have lots of excuses for not sending money to Africa: we say that our contribution could only be a drop in the ocean, or that the agencies waste the money they receive, or that food handouts are no good—

My contribution cannot end a famine, but it can save the lives of several people who might otherwise starve.

what is needed is development, or a social revolution, or population control. In our more honest moments, though, we recognize that these are excuses. My contribution cannot end a famine, but it can save the lives of several people who might otherwise starve.  While we seize on every newspaper report of relief efforts being wasted as a justification for not giving, how many of us bother to look at the overall efficiency of aid organizations, which is, in the case of voluntary organizations, actually very high by the standards of large corporations? And if we think that not food aid, but development, or revolution, or population control is the real answer to the famine problem, why aren’t we contributing to groups promoting these solutions?” —Peter Singer, The Expanding Circle, p31-32.

There are a number of highly effective NGOs that are helping with the famine in West Africa. I chose Oxfam. It is a highly regarded NGO that will earmark your donation to this effort. If you are in the USA, use THIS LINK.