It’s not common knowledge, but the Obama administration has been a powerhouse in fighting poverty abroad. The president hasn’t talked much about this — probably because modern Republicans reflexively oppose anything he supports (up to and including otter cuddling). Now, he’s opening up.
At the White House Summit on Global Development on Wednesday, Obama laid out his administration’s achievements. His Power Africa initiative is on track to connect 60 million homes and businesses to the electrical grid by 2030. The Feed the Future program has brought new seeds and tools to small farmers in 19 countries, boosting incomes by $800 million. In areas where Feed the Future was operating in 2015, the number of people in poverty dropped by a quarter, and the number of children permanently injured by malnutrition dropped by as much as a third. Anti-malaria efforts have saved some 6 million lives and the goal of a completely AIDS-free generation is within reach, Obama said.
As the speakers at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland paint a picture of a world in decline, Obama pointed out that we are living in the “most prosperous, most progressive era in human history.” This world may seem like a viper pit, but it’s really a pool full of cuddly otters.