Economic ignorance: Angela Merkel and the German media on poverty reduction

This article was published September 28 in German.

Germany has discovered a fabulous new theme: let’s fight global poverty. Last week, at the UN Summit in New York (see here), Angela Merkel pledged to work to abolish absolute poverty. It seems that the never-ending influx of refugees has the positive effect of reminding the German media that there is a world out there about which we know very little and don’t want to know too much. But now the situation is changing and even an increase in development aid, a measure that was off the table for decades, does no longer seem to be a taboo.

The name of the new poverty alleviation program is Agenda 2030. It is the successor of the so-called Millennium Development Goals that should have been achieved by 2015. To German ears, ‚Agenda‘ sounds suspiciously neoliberal, but this was probably not a consideration when the program was baptised. Even if such associations would turn out to be unjustified, it is by no means clear how the United Nations want to transform the ongoing fight against poverty in the world – outside of China, [...]

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