It’s been a rough year for a lot of us. Personally, we’ve seen jobs lost, promotions deferred, unemployment, uncertainty, and unease. Globally, we’re facing climate change, terrorism, and long, bloody wars. We’ve had a lot to face, and no one knows when it will get better. If you can read this, though, you are better off than most people on this planet. You’re literate, you have internet access, and you’ve got leisure time to spend reading blogs. You can probably give a little bit and be part of making things better.
This is your last chance to give a 2009 charitable donation. Maybe you didn’t have the kind of year where you need the charitable tax deduction, or maybe you’re lucky enough that you do. Either way, I think that ending the year on a note of generosity sets you up right to face the next one.
I have a suggestion for what to do with that donation: the Stop TB partnership. Tuberculosis is probably the scariest infectious disease in the world. It spreads more easily than HIV, it evolves faster than we can develop new drugs, and in addition to killing people on its own it hastens their deaths from other causes. We just learned about the first case of XXDR TB – nearly incurable, extremely drug resistant tuberculosis – in the US, so this disease is clearly everyone’s problem.
The Stop TB partnership helps countries get access to the TB drugs they need, and helps them design and implement national strategies to control tuberculosis. It’s not glamorous work, but it’s the only thing that is going to slow down the spread of this deadly disease. The Stop TB partnership is one of GiveWell’s two picks for international charities, and its strategy is based on evidence-based programs. It was founded in 1998, so it’s got a decade of experience and your donation won’t get lost in start-up costs.
I’ll close here with the Stop TB motto: In the fight against TB, the hero could be you