Letter: The U.S. can do more to reduce global poverty

Palestinian children wait in line while holding pots to receive free meals of green pea stew cooked by Samera Abu Amra, unseen, for distribution to poor residents in Gaza City, Feb. 4, 2021. Amra cooks the meals with money sent by benefactors to help feed the poor as poverty and unemployment rates in Gaza hover around 50%. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Many people wrongly assume that we as Americans are already doing “enough” with regard to foreign aid. The reality is that only 1% of the U.S. federal budget goes to foreign aid, which means that we are in no way prioritizing global efforts to ensure that all people have a fair standard of living.

According to The Borgen Project, a national organization fighting to downsize global poverty through U.S. education and advocacy efforts, 736 million people live in extreme poverty worldwide.

Beyond demonstrating humanitarian aid, helping to eliminate global poverty is in the interest of the United States as it stimulates American job growth, secures national allies, and reduces the threat of foreign terror and war. When people have secure access to basic needs they are less desperate and therefore less likely to create conflict within their countries and abroad. Creating safer environments where people can live with equal access decreases the threat of force required of the U.S. military.

We can each do more to help this global effort by letting our congressional leaders know that global poverty should be addressed through U.S. aid. This can be done by sending an email or calling your representatives through The Borgen Project website at borgenproject.org.

Tia Jochimsen, Ogden

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