A flood survivor in Kogi, Nigeria receives a cash transfer from Give Directly. Credit: Give Directly via Twiiter @GiveDirectly

Just Giving People Money is Really Effective at Ending Extreme Poverty. So Why Aren’t Big Aid Agencies Embracing Cash Transfers? | Rory Stewart

My guest today Rory Stewart is an author, former diplomat and politician who served as the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for International Development. He is currently the CEO of Give Directly, an international NGO that specializes in no-strings attached cash transfers. This includes to people impacted by sudden onset crises and as a tool to provide basic income for people living in extreme poverty.

When we caught up, Rory Stewart had just returned from the earthquake affected areas of southern Turkey where Give Directly has a program to support small business owners impacted by the earthquake. We discuss the value and utility of condition-less cash transfers in emergency situations before transitioning to a longer conversation about the potential role that such cash transfers can play in reducing endemic extreme poverty around the world.  As we discuss, this is an empirically effective way to combat extreme poverty, but it is not yet widely adopted by major donor governments, for reasons he explains.

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