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Assistance to foreign nations must expand

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Let’s take a moment to consider what the recently defunded USAID program can do for us.

This program is the go-to source of governmental aid to needy people around the globe, and it recently had its budget viciously slashed. This is a mistake as the benefits of the program aren’t just to our friends in foreign lands but also to our people here at home.

It benefits American business. The market for U.S. exports is huge and growing every day.

Two-thirds of our top trading partners were once recipients of U.S. aid, a clear sign that investment of this nature pays huge dividends down the road. A group of 50 of the largest companies in the United States wrote a letter to Congress asking it to increase U.S. aid funding because they recognize the value in stabilizing the economies of these growing nations.

It benefits American security. Per capita, one of the most efficient ways to battle terrorism and protect American lives and livelihood lies in prevention.

There are numerous links between poverty and the growth of extremist organizations. This is best combatted by empowering populations through investment and aid.

This serves the dual purpose of removing much of the motivation for terrorism while also engendering local populations to our cause. A group of top U.S. generals sent a letter to Congress urging further spending on U.S. foreign aid to better stop terrorism both in America and abroad.

Our actions influence other nations. The United States sets the example for a lot of global politics.

For every dollar we spend on USAID, other nations will contribute $10. We are uniquely situated among the nations of the Earth to affect real and lasting changes in global poverty. We not only have the power but the responsibility to lead the charge against an amazingly devastating yet highly curable issue.

So what can you do? Call your representatives and let them know that you support the USAID program. The call takes less than a minute and makes a world of difference.

Dylan Spohn

Watertown

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