This cause area focuses on interventions that prevent and alleviate extreme poverty. Recent estimates suggest that more 760 million people live in extreme poverty. This means they live on less than $1.90 USD per day and struggle to meet the costs of our most basic needs such as food, water, shelter and clothing. But while this is a tragically high figure, poverty relief and economic growth have made enormous progress in the last two and a half decades, moving nearly 1.1 billion people out of extreme poverty.

Alleviating poverty is complex, but it is also possible, and it can be extremely cost-effective. Extreme poverty can be addressed either directly or indirectly. One of the most effective approaches is to improve global health by eliminating or reducing health problems caused by easily preventable diseases. Doing so not only saves lives, but is correlated with increased years in schooling and thus with higher incomes in the long run. Some of the most promising global health interventions focus on malaria prevention, deworming, cash transfers, and micronutrient fortification.

We especially recommend the Against Malaria Foundation and Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, not only because they focus on the most promising health interventions, but because their programs are empirically proven to work.

Against Malaria Foundation

Malaria killed more than 400,000 people in 2015. AMF facilitates the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to protect families at night, when mosquitoes are most active. The large-scale distributions are monitored closely to guarantee that the nets reach their destination and are used correctly. Relying on strong evidence that insecticide-treated bed nets reduce child mortality and malaria cases is one of the key reasons AMF is GiveWell’s top pick for saving lives. Learn more.

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Schistosomiasis Control Initiative

Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia or “snail fever”, is a parasitic disease carried by fresh water snails infected with one of the five varieties of the parasite Schistosoma. It infects 258 million people and is considered one of the "neglected tropical diseases". SCI works with governments in sub-Saharan Africa to create or scale up programs that treat schistosomiasis. This is commonly referred to as "deworming". One of the most important long-run effects of better health as a result of deworming is an increase in long-term incomes. Learn more.

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Additional standout poverty alleviation charities

In addition to the top recommendations, REG believes the following poverty alleviation charities to be highly cost-effective. They’re not featured on the donation page, but if you want to donate to them please get in touch with us.


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