Letter: U.S. foreign aid is small but powerful

(Hani Mohammed | The Associated Press) In this Oct. 1, 2018, photo, a man prepares Halas for his children, a climbing vine of green leaves, in Aslam, Hajjah, Yemen. The leaves are made into green paste and used to be a traditional side dish, but at times of extreme poverty, it becomes the main meal. The UN agencies are warning that at least 3.5 million others might slip into the pre-famine stage.

You might think that the U.S. is already doing too much and spending way too much money on foreign aid given to unknown countries in the developing world. Why should you care about the world’s poor when there are so many problems at home? And even then, what can you do? It may seem so overwhelming.

The answer is that it isn’t — and The Borgen Project works to make that clear to Congress. The U.S. currently spends just about 1 percent of its budget on foreign aid, way behind many other Western countries.

The truth is, when everyone is better off, everyone benefits. And investing in foreign aid doesn’t mean that domestic issues are overlooked. On the contrary, aid is beneficial to the U.S. in the long term. Almost all of the top countries that the U.S. trades with are former aid recipients.

When countries are lifted out of poverty and a stable middle class emerges, more people are able to afford American goods, which creates more jobs nationally.

With the U.S. turning inward more and more, it is crucial to maintain that position of leadership by investing in foreign aid.

Aleksandra Sirakova, Salt Lake City

Submit a letter to the editor

Comments:  (0)