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A world where 8 men own as much wealth as 3.6 billion people – Cash in the News

Comic Relief, a large British charity, announced their support of GiveDirectly and cash transfers this week in a blog post on the topic. Additionally, our co-founder Paul Niehaus was featured in news pieces on KPBS-San Diego and in a survey of basic income studies in Scientific American. Prof. Tavneet Suri, one of the principal investigators in our basic income experiment, testified before congress on mobile money technology and its impact on alleviating poverty, particularly among women, in developing countries.


GIVEDIRECTLY IN THE NEWS

1.  Is Guaranteed Income for All the Answer to Joblessness and Poverty?
​Scientific American, David Noonan​,​ July 18, 2017
Niehaus is a co-founder of GiveDirectly, a nonprofit that has distributed more than $70 million among some 80,000 households—around 350,000 people—in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda since 2011. In the organization’s primary program model participants receive enough cash to cover a single year’s budget, around $1,000, paid in two or three installments.

2. A basic income really could end poverty forever
Vox, Dylan Matthews, July 17, 2017
As of 2017, basic income — often referred to as unconditional basic income or UBI — is a big enough deal that President Obama’s chief economist felt obligated to release a case against it, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg praised it in a widely viewed Harvard commencement speech, the ruling party’s nominee in the French presidential election made it his main campaign proposal, and the Indian government could enact it within the next year. There’s also a bevy of experiments evaluating basic income and related ideas by groups like GiveDirectly in Kenya, the investment firm Y Combinator, and governments in Ontario, Finland, and elsewhere.

3.  Comic Relief funding innovative Universal Basic Income pilot
Medium, Margaret Jepchirchir, July 6, 2017
One simple solution – Universal Basic Income – is starting to generate some buzz, and Comic Relief is delighted to be supporting an innovative pilot by GiveDirectly to see if and how the buzz translates into real change.

4. No Strings Attached: GiveDirectly San Diego Founder Helps Change International Giving
KPBS TV, Ebone Monet, July 11, 2017
GiveDirectly is a nonprofit aiming to change international giving. Since going public in 2011, GiveDirectly has enrolled more than 80,000 families, committing more than $70 million dollars to people in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.”

CASH TRANSFERS IN THE NEWS


5.  More than 20 million people are at risk of starving to death. Will the world step up?
The Washington Post, Editorial Board, July 17, 2017
MORE THAN 20 million people in four countries are at risk of starvation in the coming months, in what the United Nations has called the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. But the global response to the emergency has been lacking, both from governments and from private citizens. As of Monday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was reporting that only 43 percent of the $6.27 billion needed to head off famine this year in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria had been raised. A poll by the International Rescue Committee showed that 85 percent of Americans are largely uninformed about the food shortages. The IRC calls it “likely the least reported but most important major issue of our time.”

6. Australia Supports WFP Multi-Purpose Cash Assistance In Mosul
World Food Programme, July 13, 2017
In eastern Mosul, WFP is partnering with other organizations to provide unconditional cash transfers, which help families to purchase food and cover other basic needs such as rent, medicine or clothing. Each vulnerable household receives AUD$522 (US$400) through SCOPE, WFP’s electronic platform for humanitarian assistance.

7. ​Beyond Microfinance: Empowering Women in the Developing World​​
U.S. H​ouse Foreign Affairs Committee H​earing​, Testimony of Tavneet Suri​, July 12th 2017
Similarly, a study in Niger on cash transfers to households showed that switching from a cash transfer to a digital transfer on mobile money led to more discussion within the household on how the cash transfers would be spent, increases in standard measures of women’s empowerment and ultimately higher diet diversity and more meals consumed by children​.​

BASIC INCOME IN THE NEWS

8.  Combating poverty in developing countries with a universal basic income
​VoxDev, Maitreesh Ghatak, July 17, 2017
​It is relatively rare for the same economic policy to be hotly debated in both developing and developed countries given how different their economic environments are. A universal basic income (UBI) is one such example.