Opinion: Email your government officials to enact real change in global poverty

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Barak BenYehuda, Contributor

When people think of fighting global poverty, they envision benefits to countries and territories strictly outside of the United States.  However, they couldn’t be any further from the truth. On top of the obvious positive effects of providing foreign aid, there are also beneficial aspects right here in the United States.

For starters, there is a direct correlation between foreign aid and peace in the receiving country.  What this means for the United States is a decrease in demand for military intervention, which would save the United States millions in spending, on top of an improved national security.

Also, improving the foreign aid budget would bolster the economy in other ways.  Improving living conditions in foreign countries would lead to an increase in the number of consumers worldwide. This boost would lead to a demand for workers.  Not only would an increase in workers abroad with experience be needed, but also right here at home for companies who ship products abroad.

Last and most certainly not least, would be the most obvious benefit: that the United States of America would fulfill their “Big Brother” status that Harry Truman laid down for future presidents to follow. 700 million people survive on 1$ a day worldwide, with another six billion people living well below the global poverty line. Of that, two billion are children who live in extreme poverty.  Poverty affects not only vital food and water intakes, but also the ability to get proper medical assistant as well.

The United States vowed to donate .7% of their gross national income but falls well short of that quota at .19%.  This needs to be changed! The responsibility to improve this isn’t solely on Congress, rather every single citizen of the United States can play a role. It is on us, to raise awareness for these issues, and force Congress to take the next step.

By visiting The Borgen Project website, you can find useful links in order to get Congress’s attention. By taking 5 minutes each week to email congressional leaders through the newly renovated website, we can gather enough momentum to make a real impact!