The new bottom billion
Sumner presents data that points to a shift in the distribution of the world’s poor as the states in which they live have transformed from low to middle-income countries.
This shift -and fact that some of these countries have substantial resources at hand- points to a need for a rethink of aid strategies. As Jonathan Glennie writes:
… if Sumner is right (which he is), that means fundamentally changing the way we give aid and encourage poverty reduction. It is one thing transferring money to very poor countries – there is a logical argument for filling a savings gap, although one that I have criticised. But to transfer cash to countries like China and India that not only have nuclear power and space programmes, but also have their own multi-billion dollar aid programmes, is quite another. Aid money is irrelevant to them – should the traditional donors therefore just leave them to it?
The paper, and the whole discussion at the Guardian Data Blog, are well worth reading. Do check them out.