Many Americans think that 25% of the United States federal budget is used for foreign aid — and even think it should be lowered to about 10% — when in reality, less than 1% of the budget actually goes to foreign aid. The United States is the most powerful nation in the world, so its leaders should be doing more to address global poverty.

Through volunteering with The Borgen Project, a nonprofit working to make global poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy, I’ve learned more about how foreign aid not only benefits the recipient nations but also our nation, including expanding the U.S. marketplace and increasing national security. 

With the current global crisis still ongoing, it is imperative that the United States continues to provide aid to developing countries in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, because as United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Executive Secretary Vera Songwe said, “If there is one African country or one country anywhere in the world that still has the coronavirus, the whole world has it.”

I would like to thank our leaders who have stood up for the International Affairs Budget and encourage our good leaders of Utah to continue to support foreign aid for the better of our nation and world.

Emma Benson

Salt Lake City