Lifebuoy photo by Stephen Di Donato

How to stop some people dying in 2017.

In 2016, dead people were in the news a lot. It’s likely that some people will also die in 2017. Some of these people will be famous. But many of them won’t be. Many of them will suffer from easily preventable causes. Let’s focus on those folks for a minute.

In 2014, I joined Giving What We Can. Along with over 2,000 other people, I’ve pledged to donate 10% of my income to help end suffering from poverty. The pledge and the community is a useful mechanism to help you commit over time to donating significant monies to huge humane effect — the most valuable thing you could do with that money.

The clever people at the Centre for Effective Altruism do the sums on how to best spend those donations and have set up a trust to donate to, then they do the work to parcel out the cash. They don’t even take a cut. Remarkable. Donate here.

As for me, in 2016, I had an income of £16,050 — er, whoops, I’ll try to earn more in 2017 — so I’ll donate £1,605 to the Trust. I’m happy for the Trust to direct my money to where it is most useful. After gift aid, that should mean: 

  1. 119 long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets distributed;
  2. 501 neglected tropical disease provided by the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative;
  3. 790 NTD treatments provided by Deworm the World Initiative;
  4. And £500 worth of support for Project Healthy Children, to improve micronutrient provision.

This stuff works. Take malaria, for example. The world is making amazing progress: an extraordinary half a billion malaria cases have been avoided since 2000. Another stat suggests 6,000,000 lives have been saved thanks to malaria control.

But there’s more to do and funding is flatlining. So help out! Please join me and the thousands of other members and donate. Or talk to your employer about Payroll Giving.

2017’s going to be great. :)

P.S. I donated to Cool Earth and 350.org for rainforest protection and climate advocacy too — but it’s harder to work out what the effectiveness of these is. Giving to Cool Earth partly serves as an ‘offset’ for one (short-haul) flight this year.

P.P.S. Historical giving: 2016 is here and 2015 is here (and includes a longer introduction to the whole approach).

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