On April 3, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the establishment of the U.S. Global Development Lab to help end extreme poverty by 2030. The announcement took in New York City with government officials, business and NGO leaders, and media and featured a keynote address by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Coca-Cola Company was a part of the announcement as one of 29 inaugural Lab Cornerstone Partners.

The Lab’s purpose is to help end extreme poverty by 2030 through supporting breakthrough solutions in water, health, food security and nutrition, energy, education, and climate change. The Lab aims to reach 200 million people affected by extreme poverty in the next five years by working with its partners to advance a science-and technology-based approach to development, creating a new global marketplace to scale successful innovations.

Dr. Shah prepared the below post in reference to the Lab and its launch.

Since the dawn of humanity, extreme poverty has stifled hopes and undermined growth

It haunts the world still. Tonight, 860 million people will go to sleep hungry. This year, 6.6 million children will die before their 5thbirthday. Every day, 1.1 billion people around the world—more than the population of North and South America combined—live on just $1.25 a day. No matter how much you adjust for the relative price of local commodities, that is a desperately meager sum, and with it, families must make daily choices among food, medicine, housing and education.

Dr. Rajiv Shah

USAID Administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah

Every decision is a trade-off with potentially catastrophic consequences. Do you buy medicines for a sick parent, provide an evening meal for your children, or put a few pennies away towards a new roof or next year’s school fees?

As appalling as this description is, it still does not adequately describe what poverty is and what poverty does. It drains our basic human dignity. If we’re being honest, it sometimes also drains our compassion for those who suffer.

Yet, we know it doesn’t have to be this way.

Find out what Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, proposes in the rest of this post on the USAID site.