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Letter: Foreign aid saves U.S. jobs and lives

Foreign aid saves U.S. jobs and lives

How much do you believe the U.S. government spends on foreign aid? How much do you think it should?

Polls show the average American believes 20 percent of the budget is allocated to international affairs. In reality, foreign aid comprises 0.7 percent of the annual budget.

The U.S. should allocate far greater resources to foreign aid, simply because it can provide these vital funds. This nation has the power to save millions of lives. We can improve access to education, prevent deaths related to childbirth and water access, and help billions of people across the globe living in poverty. And, a collateral benefit of helping pull others out of poverty is that we create an entirely new consumer class for U.S. exports, creating domestic jobs here at home, and simultaneously expanding U.S. markets. Poverty reduction leads to stability. Stability promotes U.S. security interests around the world.

The common suggestion that our foreign aid efforts are futile – that global poverty is insurmountable – is simply not true. The Borgen Project is shedding light on the realities of foreign aid. The nonprofit organization firmly advocates for the importance of public action. Our voices as American citizens can have a huge impact. Call your congressional leaders in support of increasing the International Affairs budget.

Jennifer Shelton

Buffalo

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