New Internationalist

The second front

March 1973

There are 1,500 million people on the planet without enough of the right kind of food to eat, or safe water to drink, or basic medical care. And this situation is getting worse. There are now more malnourished, sick, uneducated and unemployed people in the world than there were 10 years ago.

The front line in the war on this poverty is being manned by the people of the poor countries themselves, and already they are financing over 80 per cent of their own development efforts from their own work and their own trade earnings.

But if the war is to be won, a second front must be opened – in the rich world.

It is the rich world which lays down the rules of world trade within which the poor world must manage its finances. It is the rich world which commands 95 per cent of the world’s technological know-how and 90 per cent of the world’s income.

It is the rich world which can provide the kind of aid and investment which will help the poor world to develop its own resources for its own benefit; and it is the rich world which can and often does provide the kind of aid and investment which degrades and exploits the poor world for the benefit of the already rich.

Changes in the policies of the rich nations are therefore essential if the war on world poverty is ever to be won. But these changes can only be brought about through inter-governmental action at the highest level and on the largest scale. And this in turn demands a new political will and a new climate of public opinion in the developed world. For the ideal of world development will never be realized, as U Thant said, ‘unless it is rooted in the hearts and minds of millions of citizens everywhere… unless it can win their sustained support’.

The campaign to win sustained support for a great new effort to bring justice and help to the world’s poor is already gathering momentum in the developed countries. In Britain the World Development Movement, the Voluntary Committee on Overseas Aid and Development, Third World First, the Haslemere Group, the Standing Development Decade, the educational wings of the major charities and churches, and many other local and national groups, are campaigning to create a growing body of people who know more and care more and do more about world development.

Similar groups now exist in almost every developed country and the strength of these groups and of the ties between them is increasing almost by the hour.

New Internationalist arises from and in response to this growing movement. For the last two years it has been going out every term to the 33,000 students in British universities who are giving a percentage of their grants each year to overseas development projects through the Third World First bankers order scheme.

With this issue, New Internationalist becomes a monthly magazine, backed jointly by Oxfam and Christian Aid, and aimed at a wider audience. It will report on the people, the ideas, and the action in the fight for world development; it will give a platform to the new social and political ideas from Africa, Asia, and Latin America; it will debate and campaign for the great changes which are necessary to bring justice and help to the world’s poor.

New Internationalist is only one part of this campaign. But in asking you to subscribe to it, read it, write to it, talk about it, publicize it, we are asking you to join this growing movement for action on the greatest issue of our times.

This feature was published in the March 1973 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Never miss another story! Get our FREE fortnightly eNews

Comments on The second front

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Features

All Features

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 001

New Internationalist Magazine issue 001
Issue 001

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.