Most of us know that while we may work hard, there are external factors that help bring our efforts to fruition, and these external factors largely depend on where we live. Being born in an affluent nation greatly increases our chances to benefiting from good infrastructure, healthcare, access to education, and the availability of stable jobs.
For people born in a developing country, the chances that their hard work will pay off are greatly diminished. They may not be able to work due to an illness for which they can’t afford the treatment, there may not be any work available, they may not have the education required for a job that pays a living wage – the list goes on. Mere daily survival is all-encompassing.
This means that people in developing countries are very often at an unfair disadvantage compared to others around the world. Children have no say over where they live or whether they receive an education. Struggling families may take their children out of school so they may contribute more immediately to the family income. This contributes to a cycle of poverty that traps people who may be extraordinarily smart and hard-working, yet beholden to circumstances over which they have no control.
Giving to organizations which help people in extreme poverty is essentially a matter of fairness. The global North-South divide shows clearly that socio-economic trends are geographically correlated. Once we accept that varying circumstances lead to drastically uneven economic outcomes throughout the world, we must also recognize that we have an obligation to help those born into the cycle of poverty.