The economic crisis that began with bad mortgages could kill 400,000 babies worldwide every year through 2015 as poverty spreads.

"While much of the world is focused on bank rescues and stimulus packages, we should not forget that poor people in developing countries are far more exposed if their economies falter," World Bank President Robert Zoellick said.

The economic meltdown has increased the ranks of the poor by about 100 million people so far, and the World Bank is suggesting that developed countries devote 0.7% of their stimulus packages to aid for the third world. Less-developed countries generally lack the access to credit to have their own stimulus packages.

The idea of providing aid to third world countries is compelling, especially if that aid is focused on humanitarian goals that can prevent infant mortality rates from increasing. Where exactly that money will come from remains to be seen. A better solution would be for Americans who are still getting by to redirect some of their charitable giving toward the developing world.


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