While the world has made encouraging strides in the fight against global poverty, the hidden plague of everyday violence silently undermines our best efforts to help the poor. Common violence like rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, and police abuse has become routine and relentless. And like a horde of locusts devouring everything in its path, the unchecked plague of violence ruins lives, blocks the road out of poverty, and undercuts development. How has this plague of violence grown so ferocious? In one of the most remarkable social disasters of the last half century, basic public justice systems in the developing world have descended into a state of utter collapse, and there’s nothing shielding the poor from violent people.
Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros offer a searing account of how we got here and what it will take to end the plague. The Locust Effect is a gripping journey into the streets and slums where fear is a daily reality for billions of the world’s poorest, where safety is secured only for those with money, and where much of our well-intended aid is lost in the daily chaos of violence. While their call to action is urgent, Haugen and Boutros provide hope, a real solution and an ambitious way forward. The Locust Effect will forever change the way we understand global poverty, and will help secure a safe path to prosperity for the global poor in the 21st century.