Mr. Sachs et al. advises the Group of Eight [G8] leading industrialized nations at the dawn of the summit:
[G8] would most benefit the poor in Africa by first looking at what Africa is doing for itself.
Despite the opposition of some of Malawi's donors, [in 2005] President Bingu wa Mutharika and his team introduced a bold farm-input subsidy program to pre-empt the famine. At a cost of $60m, roughly $5 per Malawian, the government provided seed and fertilizer at reduced cost to more than 1m small-scale maize farmers. This represented a huge financial burden for Malawi's government, but would have been a pittance for the rich world.
The impact has stunned the skeptics and the doomsayers.
The investments in famine prevention – roughly $60m per year in farm inputs – save many more lives and are vastly more affordable than the hundreds of millions of dollars that would be needed in emergency food relief to achieve the same food outcome.