Foreign aid has always been a controversial topic, especially recently due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. According to research done by multiple organizations, including Oxfam and NPR, the average American believes that 25% of the annual budget is allocated to foreign aid. This could not be further from the truth, as only about 1% of the budget is for international affairs.
Since beginning my internship at the Borgen Project, a national nonprofit that is working to make global poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy, I have been informed of the many benefits of supporting the International Affairs Budget. It supports diplomacy programs and critical development around the world. Programs funded by the International Affairs Budget fight pandemics, provide relief during natural disasters, implement agriculture systems, help fight HIV/AIDS and aid growing democracies.
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the International Affairs Budget. Some people believe that foreign aid doesn’t work or that it does nothing in favor of the United States, but these ideas are far from reality. Investing in foreign aid is in our strategic interest because it will create more jobs in the U.S., increase national security and will be instrumental in addressing the world’s overpopulation issue.
By supporting the International Affairs Budget, we are supporting the growth of many developing countries around the world, which are also among the fastest growing economies. With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, it is in our best interest to support these countries and develop economic relations with them. Also, by developing economies and through other humanitarian efforts, corruption and the influence of terrorist groups is decreased in these countries which in turn increases our national security.
I urge you to support the International Affairs Budget and to ask your congressional leaders to support it as well. You can learn more about this issue and how to help at https://borgenproject.org.
Savannah Padgett is a senior studying public relations and a Borgen Project Ambassador. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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