IMPACT
10/25/2013 10:25 am ET Updated Oct 25, 2013

What Happens When You Just Give Money To Poor People?

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A couple months ago, we reported on an new charity called GiveDirectly that's trying to help poor people in the developing world in an unusual way: By sending them money with no strings attached.

The idea behind this is simple. Poor people know what they need, and if you give them money they can buy it.

But to some veterans of the charity world, giving cash is worrisome. When we first reported on this we spoke with Carol Bellamy, who used to run UNICEF, and who said people might spend the money on things like alcohol or gambling.

To see whether this was actually happening, researchers did an experiment. They surveyed people in Kenya who received money from GiveDirectly, and a similar group of people who didn't get money.

Read more on www.npr.org

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