First Things First: Prioritizing Efforts to End Deadly Hunger

November 11, 2011

Given my position as the head of this international humanitarian organization, people often ask me what the best way is to end poverty and despair in the world. They also frequently want to debate the pros and cons of investing in struggling countries: Should they invest in education, they ask, or health care; economic development or infrastructure?

As I listen, the words 'first things first" come bubbling up from my childhood. Because no child can learn in school on 100 calories a day; no health system can properly prevent disease if their patients return to contaminated water sources; and no markets will thrive if people can't nourish themselves enough to lead productive lives.