After decades of billions upon billions of dollars, and ship-loads of sea containers carrying goods for the poor of Africa, nothing changes. Why is this? One (among many) reason is that much of the aid does not get to the poor. It is intercepted by the powerful and rich.
The giver in the developed country still gets the warm feeling of having done a good deed, and they may get a thank you and a photo or two from the receiver, but the intended recipient of the goodwill gesture, the desperately poor, mostly never see the bulk of the cash or goods. And much of it ends up back in Western bank accounts held by wealthy residents of these undeveloped nations, thus not even trickling through the local economy.
Why is this? Human corruption stops the poor from escaping from their poverty. How could a human being keep such things from the desperately poor? Human corruption has a remarkable way of creating justifying excuses to appease one's conscience.
Man has an enormous capacity for egotism, self-absorption, and regard for their own interest over those of others.
Talking of Robert Louis Stevenson's book, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," New York based theologian Timothy Keller says something of Edward Hyde which can so easily be applied to all mankind and which can be attributed as a major reason for continued poverty in the world:
"He thinks solely of his own desires; He doesn't care in the slightest who he hurts in order to gratify himself."
"Self-aggrandizement is at the foundation of so much of the misery of the world. It is the reason the powerful and the rich are indifferent to the plight of the poor. It is the reason for most of the violence, crime, and warfare in the world. It is at the heart of most cases of family disintegration.” (Timothy Keller, Pg 175, The Reason for God)
Having said all this, it is not altogether surprising is it? After all, mankind's corruption is the reason for Jesus. It is what our Messiah saves us from, paying the price for us to free us from our corruption, redeeming us from slavery, defeating death for us and giving us true and eternal life.