I have been to S Africa and had the opportunity to witness abject poverty up close in Soweto and other shanty villages. I have also included a small chapter in my auto-biography on this problem
Yes the world must invest billions to get to the roots of this problem. However using a rigid formula for the contributions by the US (0.7 % of GDP) will not solve the problems. It is not a feasible amount and the American people will not support it,in view of our war on terrorism and Iraq,and our budget defecit.
Primarily any massive contributions at this point while corruption (governmental and institutional )in Africa is the norm , is like throwing good money after bad. Until corruption is under control and there is strict accountability we should not throw our money away. The former Rhodesia is a perfect example of a country that has lost its bearings
Secondly is the ability of African governments to absorb such huge amounts of cash and products. Until the Europeans, primarily the French and Germans end their massive farm subsidies, African produce etc has no opportunity to reach the markets on a level playing field.Nor are there the trained specialists and economists that can succefully take the requested tens of billions requested from our country and make a viable and successful program. An examination of previously appropriated economic funds and materiel to these area will document many failures. Based upon other such programs (as oil for food ) perhaps one should examine the Swiss Bank accounts for some unused or unaccounted for funds.
President Bush has been extremely generous with our aid commitment. The problem is, and will be, our tremendous defense budget that is used to protect the free world. Our budget for military matters is greater than the combined military expenditures of all of NATO combined. Our superpower status should enable the rich countries of the world to pick up a greater portion of the economic tab, as we play our role as superpower and their protectors.