Across the world, we see conflict stemming from unstable economies and a lack of equality. Whether it is the civil war in Sudan, the political crisis in Venezuela, or the violence in Central America, there is significant unrest in developing countries that need help which we have the power to give. Although President Trump has made it clear that foreign aid is not his priority, as seen in his statements against the Northern Triangle countries, it seems time to change this perspective. Foreign assistance is valuable in so many ways, and it is essential that we see why.

When countries like the United States give foreign assistance that goes directly to causes such as keeping girls in school, preventing violence, or ensuring food security, countries are able to stabilize and grow their economies. Growing economies lead to huge untapped markets with consumers ready to purchase from the United States.

Additionally, countries with less violence and more security are considerably less likely to harbor terrorists. This means that populations living in these areas do not need to flee to other countries, such as the U.S., to seek refuge.

By helping developing countries in times of crisis, we are directly helping ourselves — and this is what the president needs to understand.

While many Americans believe we are giving significant portions of our budget away to other countries for aid, this is simply not the case. In fact, less than 1% of our nation’s yearly budget is dedicated to foreign aid; we spend billions more on defense and interest on debt.

We have the ability to create a better world through mutually beneficial aid. So, why not do so?

Aparna Marathe

Albemarle County

References:

“Trump Administration Says It Will Cut Foreign Aid for Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador,” NBCNews.com, www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-administration-says-it-will-cut-foreign-aid-guatemala-honduras-n989246

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