Josephy Amosi Kamanga, who lives in Malawi, couldn’t afford to pay the examination fee for his eldest child, so she dropped out of school two years ago. She later got pregnant and is living at home. The fee that changed his daughter’s life? Just $4.98. That story comes from GiveDirectly Inc., an American charity that offers a simple proposition: Give poor people cash, with no strings attached, and good things will tend to happen. It certainly did to Kamanga and his family. GiveDirectly gave him $51.75 a month for a year. That enabled him to reopen a shop that sells soap, drinks, body lotion, sugar, eggs and cooking oil, and to buy a secondhand phone to operate the business. With the profits from the grocery he covered school expenses for three other children. He told a GiveDirectly interviewer that the news he’d been selected to receive the money “brought joy in my heart.” Traditional aid, however well intentioned, can be insensitive to the needs of the poor. Massive donations of … [Read more...] about Do Handouts Work?
Germany’s largest storage chamber for natural gas stretches underneath a swath of farmland the size of nine soccer fields in the western part of the country. The bucolic area has become a kind of battlefield in Europe’s effort to defend itself against a looming gas crisis driven by Russia. Since last month, the German government has been rapidly pumping fuel into the vast underground site in Rehden, hoping to fill it in time for the winter, when demand for gas surges to heat homes and businesses. The scene is being repeated at storage facilities across the continent, in a jousting over energy between Europe and Russia that has been escalating since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February. In the latest sign that Moscow appears intent on punishing Europe for sanctions and military support for Ukraine, Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled energy giant, last week cut by 60 percent the amount of gas it delivers via Nord Stream 1, a critical pipeline serving Germany and other … [Read more...] about Russia Crimps Gas Flows Just as Europe Races to Stock Up for Winter