A revolution in global aid to the poor

Published on 29 June 2010

The most exciting new idea for tackling poverty and feeding billions around the world has got nothing to do with hydroelectric dams or back-slapping summitry. Instead, this one begins with a story about kung-fu movies. In the mid-90s, Claire Melamed was working in a village in the far north of Mozambique. Nacuca had no electricity, nor running water, and precious few distractions. As the development economist recalls: "Villagers would ask, 'We have to live here, but how come you've chosen to stay?" Then one day visitors came, bearing entertainment.

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