Why the British NGOs are so bad at fighting absolute poverty

That there's still near 10% of the human species out there languishing in absolute poverty is true. That we'd like to get that number to 0% and sharpish is also true. There are organisations here in Britain which ask you to send them money so that they can aid in this process. An idea and intention which we fully and entirely support of course, who wouldn't want to see the destitution of peasant poverty disappear?

It's just that at least some of them appear woefully misinformed about the subject under discussion. This is from some fool at Health Poverty Action:

Here’s the (heretical?) rub: it is understandable if people are losing faith in aid agencies and even in the idea of “development” itself. Because, broadly speaking, it hasn’t worked. We clearly haven’t solved the problem of poverty. Yet we’ve misled the public for years that poverty will end, if only they’ll give us £2 a month.

The main reason poverty thrives is that we haven’t addressed the interconnected, structural issues that create and maintain it: unjust trade deals, climate change, tax havens, the failed “war on drugs” and the lack of public services. Without tackling these issues (and those responsible for them) it is nigh on impossible to achieve social and economic justice.

Note the claim that poverty is created. It is repeated:

Stories about multinationals, tax havens, and the privatisation of public services would demonstrate that people around the world are victims of the same process of poverty creation and systemic injustice as we are here.

The idea that poverty is created is one of such drivelling inanity that it's remarkable that one who is literate can hold it. For we in fact know one thing about such absolute, extreme, poverty. As Angus Maddison pointed out, this has been the norm for almost all humans throughout all of recorded history. GDP per capita in the $500 to $800 range, annually, translates through into that $1.90 a day of absolute poverty (annoyingly we're using $ from different years as measurements there but the basic point stands, this is after inflation etc, changes in prices across geography). That's just what history was until the Industrial Revolution. Generation after generation, millennia after millennia, of what we now regard as the utmost destitution.

The thing which is created is the wealth which abolishes poverty. Only if we are to grasp this simple truth can we possibly craft plans, policies, to reduce said poverty.

This will sound dismissive, possibly even rude, but then it's meant to be both. You'll do better to reduce absolute poverty by randomly mailing your £2 a month to anyone on the planet. At least there you've a 10% chance of it aiding a poor person, a rather better opportunity than cycling it though an organisation as hopelessly misguided, ignorant even, as Health Poverty Action.

Of course, there's also the truly effective method, buy stuff made by poor people in poor countries. That is the method of this past generation, the one which brought absolute poverty down from 40% of all people to that just under 10%. You know, the one that works, the one that drove the biggest reduction in poverty in the history of our species, that neoliberal globalisation.