As an intern for The Borgen Project, a non-profit advocating for the world’s most impoverished people, I have become increasingly aware of many citizens’ misinformed attitudes regarding foreign affairs.
While approaching friends and family for donations, I have heard a common question: “Don’t you think we should take care of the people in our own country?” To which I would like to simply reply, “Don’t you think the U.S. should prevent more than 17,000 children from dying in developing nations every day because we can?”
Unfortunately, I know it may take more than a hypothetical question to convince people.
Foreign aid can be viewed as an investment that holds the potential for huge returns. Bringing people out of poverty creates emerging consumers for a global market. And aiding the poor strengthens our national security.
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In fact, improving conditions for the world’s poor is a huge part of the U.S. national security strategy. Improving living conditions for people in poverty causes a resistance in areas that are susceptible to becoming terrorist safe havens and it is therefore a proactive method for fighting terrorism.
If caring about the living conditions of human beings isn’t reason enough to support foreign affairs efforts, economic growth, strengthened national security and better diplomacy, it should be.