- - Thursday, April 5, 2018

If you belong to the category of people who do not believe in the idealist concept that the most prosperous country in the world has a moral responsibility to help other nations, or that American influence around the world depends partially on foreign aid, here are a few concrete reasons why we should all support foreign assistance.

First and foremost, the United States has strategic interests in improving the plight of the world’s poor. Foreign aid supports critical development and diplomacy programs around the world. Those programs create jobs here at home by opening new markets to American businesses, which help people transition out of poverty and become consumers of exported American products. Considering that 95 percent of the potential consumers of American goods live outside the U.S., that one in five U.S. jobs is export-based and that 50 percent of U.S. exports go to developing nations, foreign assistance should be seen as an investment.

Second, helping those most in need is a key pillar of our national-security strategy. Poverty increases transnational threats, including conflicts, epidemic disease and international crime. These threats destabilize whole regions and sometimes affect each part of the world simultaneously. Vulnerable people can become sources of threats as their situations sometimes force them to resort to illegal means in order to survive.

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Addressing global poverty should be included in any U.S. national-security strategy.



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