IT is no secret that the whole world is going through a tough time economically. High and rising food prices and increased fuel prices have hit everybody everywhere. However, Third World countries are especially vulnerable and South Africa, with its exceptionally large percentage of poor people, is no exception. This, in turn, is one of the causative factors underlying crime. It also played its part in bringing about the recent deplorable outbreak of xenophobia. Indeed, the dissatisfaction of the poor at what the government is doing to improve its lot was one of the considerations behind the toppling of President Thabo Mbeki from the ANC leadership at Polokwane in December. Meanwhile, those citizens who are better resourced are confronted by the poor at every turn. Some choose to do their bit by helping those in need with whom they interact, while others give to one or other charity.