For this week's cover package, we're pleased to offer an excerpt from Jeffrey Sachs' forthcoming book, The End of Poverty. As regular readers of TIME know, Sachs is one of the world's most distinguished economists, a man who has guided countries from Bolivia to Poland through bad financial times, advised the Pope on Third World debt relief and helped launch the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria. As head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, he has tried to promote the idea that developing countries can protect the environment while improving the lives of their citizens. In writing The End of Poverty, Sachs has attempted to construct a new way of looking at the plight of the world's poorest people, who number more than 1 billion. As he puts it, "More than 8 million people around the world die each year because they are too poor to stay alive." He argues passionately that these deaths would be entirely avoidable if the developed countries of the world banded together to stop them. You may not agree with all his prescriptions, but it is impossible to deny that the needless deaths of so many people every year call for action on a global scale.
We at TIME feel that, as tempting as it might be to look the other way, it is part of this magazine's responsibility to cast the spotlight on problems that transcend borders, whether they be global warming, AIDS or genocide. Just this past week, Ann Moore, chairman and CEO of Time Inc., Eileen Naughton, president of TIME, and I joined forces with the U.N. Foundation to host a panel in New York City for the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, an initiative of UNAIDS. Four extraordinary women--Frika Chia Iskandar of Indonesia, Princess Kasune Zulu of Zambia, Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga of Bolivia and Michaelle Soliman of Haiti--spoke eloquently of their efforts to combat AIDS in their countries. This November TIME and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation plan to hold a Global Health Summit in New York City, bringing together medical experts, politicians and business leaders to discuss new ways to combat diseases like AIDS, malaria, TB, malnutrition and cholera. We will also publish a special issue on global health that month, coinciding with W for Survival, a six-part prime-time PBS special co-produced by WGBH's NOVA Science Unit and Vulcan Productions.
This week's cover package is illustrated with photographs by James Nachtwey, who has spent his career covering the myriad ways in which war and disaster destroy human lives. Jim, who has worked for TIME since 1983, has won dozens of accolades, including the World Press Photo prize last month for best single photo of a contemporary issue in 2004. The World Press Photo awards, overseen by an international panel of 13 judges who meet every February in Amsterdam, are the world's most prestigious photojournalism competition. Jim received his first-place award for an image that appeared on TIME's cover last fall of a mother caring for her ill son in a refugee camp in Sudan.
TIME won another first-place World Press Photo award last month, this one for Christopher Morris and a portfolio of photographs he took while covering George W. Bush's re-election campaign last year. We're proud of Jim and Chris, but the awards are not so much about TIME as about the power of a photograph, simple and unadorned, to tell a story in ways that words cannot.