Facebook Co-Founder Giving Millions Directly To The Poor, No Strings Attached
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
GiveDirectly has a straightforward approach to helping the world’s poorest people: just give them cash, no strings attached.
The New York-based nonprofit has distributed about $1,000—roughly a year’s income—to thousands of ultra-poor households in Kenya and Uganda. Recipients don’t need to pay back the money, and they can spend it however they wish.
This might seem like a radical idea, but it’s not. Cash transfers have quietly become one of the most widely researched and consistently effective anti-poverty strategies in the developing world.
Now GiveDirectly’s work is receiving a major boost from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna, who on Monday announced a $25 million donation through their foundation Good Ventures. The gift is greater than GiveDirectly’s entire 2014 budget.
“Governments and donors spend tens of billions of dollars a year on reducing poverty,” Tuna said in a statement, “but the people who are meant to benefit from that money rarely get a say in how it’s spent. GiveDirectly is changing that.”