Ireland has said it will give .7% of gdp to foreign aid by 2012. This will be about 1.4 billion dollars
So what can you do with 1.4 billion a year that will help the worlds poor the most? I believe Ireland should fight worms. Intestinal worms are a big easily fixed problem.
“Thirty percent of children in developing countries are moderately or severely undernourished, and nutritional supplements or treatments for intestinal parasites can be an inexpensive way to raise school attendance and increase physical and mental capacity.
Children who are better nourished in their first years of life stay in school longer and learn more each year they are there. In areas where malnutrition or worm infestations are common, nutritional supplements or treatments for intestinal parasites offer an inexpensive way to raise attendance and physical and mental capacity.
A school-based de-worming program in Kenya had even more remarkable results with benefits at least 450 times higher than the costs.
Most opportunities will not be as rewarding, but it is safe to assume the benefits are around 25 times higher than the costs in many cases. “
So the 1.4 billion a year spent of eradicating intestinal worms in third world children would be worth at least 35 billion to these countries.
Leishmaniasis, Trypanosomiasis and Malaria are other serious parasitic infections that are easily prevented. There is a description here on the effects of intestinal worms on children in the third world.
Worms are not sexy, you look up intestinal worms on google and the first site deals with pets. But if we give ourselves on achievable goal with our money, one that has proven huge benefits to people I think our money will be better spent then on many vague diffuse projects. Ireland got its snakes removed for us, why not become the country that removes the worms from everyone else?