Sachs's office window was streaked with rain. He had spent nearly two hours answering my questions, and they were starting to irritate him. It had been a long day. For a few moments, we sat in silence. Then he said: "I believe in the contingency of life."
There was no economy to speak of in Dertu. Here and there the nomadic herdsmen passing through would trade or sell livestock, and a modest business was established to sell camel's milk; otherwise, the only economic activities were gun running and cattle raiding.
At the start of the new millennium, world leaders promised to cut by half the proportion of people without decent sanitation, and to reduce child mortality by two thirds, all by 2015. We're determined to help the world keep its promises.
Approximately one out of every eight children in sub-Saharan Africa dies before his or her fifth birthday from preventable and treatable causes. These deaths are preventable through the deployment of health systems of the kind being pioneered in the Millennium Villages.
It's hard for those of us who work day in and day out, on the ground to fight poverty to see such flippancy and carelessness in the media. This is especially true in this case, where the facts are so easy to ascertain.
In Rwanda and across Africa, the Millennium Villages project has demonstrated that food scarcity can be all but vanquished if the required resource management, investment and political will are available.