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I like the following article as a summary of what's going on in terms of why people don't focus on local altruism: Global economic inequality: what matters most for your living conditions is not who you are, but where you are. There's also this article from 2021: Don't we spend too much on foreign aid already? 

  • "The huge majority of the world is very poor. The poorer half of the world, almost 4 billion people, live on less than $6.70 a day. If you live on $30 a day you are part of the richest 15% of the world ($30 a day roughly corresponds to the poverty lines set in high-income countries)."
  • "private Americans, foundations, and corporations gave about $23 billion to support international affairs in one recent year. [That's] an astoundingly large number, but it's only about 5% of the $418 billion that Americans donated to charity that year."

People outside of EA generally emphasize local altruism way too much. This means that the most effective opportunities for helping people alive right now are very likely not local. 

There's  existing writing that addresses issues you've touched on: 

And finally: EAs are into policy and systemic change. You should read more about that on the Forum: policy, improving institutions