Letter: The U.S. needs to do more to combat global poverty and we can each do something about it

(Myrto Papadopoulos | The New York Times) A homeless refugee from Afghanistan eats watermelon outside the rooftop shack where he lives in Athens, Greece, July 22, 2020.

A common misconception among Americans is that putting money towards addressing poverty in other countries is not in our interest, especially when we have poverty here. There are many benefits that come from making the reduction of global poverty a focus of our foreign policy. It stimulates U.S. job growth, increases our national security, and positively impacts people’s lives. Additionally, helping those around the world is the right thing to do. Addressing poverty here and abroad don’t need to be competing interests, and we can each play a part in making this happen.

The global poverty numbers show the severity of this worldwide issue. According to The Borgen Project, a national campaign that is working to reduce global poverty and make it a focus of U.S. foreign policy, there are currently 736 million people living in extreme poverty. There is optimism and a path forward though, as they believe that educating and mobilizing people around the world to urge their leaders to make poverty a political priority will be the push that is needed to create meaningful change.

It is common to think our individual opinions and actions won’t change anything, but according to The Borgen Project, congressional leaders often support legislation that reduces poverty when they are contacted by as few as 7-10 citizen supporters.

We all do better when we all do better. We can each make a difference in reducing global poverty and improving the lives of others, and we can start by voicing our opinions to our congressional leaders through https://borgenproject.org/action-center/.

Mara Zenger, Provo

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