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Editor, The Beacon:

I recently came across one of The Beacon’s letters to the editor discussing the benefits of the American Rescue Plan, and thought I would respond by adding that this plan not only helps Americans but people all over the world affected by poverty and the added pressures of the pandemic.

With the passing of the American Rescue Plan came $11 billion in foreign aid that will be allocated to USAID and the State Department. This money will be specifically used for vaccine-development programs, the Global Fund, international disaster relief, food-security programs, and migration and refugee assistance. This funding is crucial to alleviating the devastating effects the pandemic has had on the developing world, something that should be in the interest of every American, whether they think it affects them or not.

I am an intern and supporter of The Borgen Project, a nonprofit working to put global poverty at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy. Through my work with TBP, I have learned the many ways foreign aid can help not just the world’s poor, but Americans as well. 

Foreign aid, when utilized properly, can have lasting positive impacts on U.S. national security, the economy, job creation, and much more.

This is not an opinion shared only by those at The Borgen Project. Military generals, former secretaries of state and former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have all stressed the importance that alleviating global poverty has on national security. 

Despite these calls for action, less than 1 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid every year.

The fact of the matter is we do better when the world does better. 

The American Rescue Plan is a crucial but small step in America’s effort to fight global poverty. Increased funding for foreign aid has the potential to save the lives of millions of people around the world. 

If it is in our nation’s own interest, global poverty relief should be at the top of the U.S. agenda.

Kendall Couture

DeLand

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