Something we picked up while browsing The Economist. Food for thought when planning anti-poverty programmes
CELIA ORBOC, a cake-seller in the Philippines, spent her little stipend on a wooden shack, giving her five children a roof over their heads for the first time. In Kyrgyzstan Sharmant Oktomanova spent hers buying flour to feed six children. In Haiti President René Préval praises a dairy co-operative that gives mothers milk and yogurt when their children go to school.
These are examples of the world’s favourite new anti-poverty device, the conditional cash-transfer programme (CCT) in poor and middle-income countries. These schemes give stipends and food to the poorest if they meet certain conditions, such as that their children attend school, or their babies are vaccinated. Ten years ago there were a handful of such programmes and most were small. Now they are on every continent—even New York City has one—and they benefit millions.