The fundraising appeal for tsunami relief was a big success, and it seems to me that the exercise is worth trying again. As a community, we seemed to be happier when we were focusing at least some of our thoughts on helping others than in our usual isolated consumer mode, and I can’t see why we shouldn’t consistently maintain something like the effort level devoted to the tsunami appeal. Giving away 2 per cent of our income (say, an hour’s pay each work for a full-time worker) to international relief efforts would make a huge difference. Australia alone could finance a pretty large slab of the various ambitious projects for global health that have been put forward. If all the whole developed countries contributed at this level, much of the misery that afflicts the world could be prevented.
So, I’m going to be giving away $1 per comment, once again, up to a limit of $1000 (last time there were about 500 comments). I’m also hoping for cosponsors, who could agree to put in 5,10, 20 or 50 cents up to whatever limit seems appropriate. I plan to donate the proceeds to Medecins Sans Frontieres, and express a preference for projects related to the The Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria . These diseases kill over 6 million people each year, and the numbers are growing. Of course, cosponsors are welcome to nominate their own preferred charity.
I’m going to give a bit more notice this time, especially in the hope of attracting some new cosponsors. I’ll put up the post calling for comments sometime on Friday, and keep it open until Sunday evening.