Letter – National security improved by ending poverty through foreign aid

Published 6:02 pm Friday, March 24, 2023

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Every day, I wake up feeling lucky to live in Suffolk. From getting my nails done in the University Boulevard shopping center, or grabbing dinner at Sushi Ninja with some friends on a Saturday. Safe to say, it is a true privilege to be a resident of this great town. And I think that this statement can be applied to a lot of our lives, not just my own. 

This has made me think more about those who are not as fortunate. Did you know that 736 million people live in extreme poverty all over the world? And that an estimated 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation? The good news is, we here in Hampton Roads can do something about it. 

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There is a false implication that about 25% of the United States budget goes to foreign aid, and would want to reduce it to a level of 10%. In reality, it is less than 1%. 

Organizations such as the Borgen Project have done substantial work to help increase the amount of money spent on foreign aid through advocacy work, lobbying, and grassroots organizing. Reduction in poverty rates is proven to reduce conflict and thus increase our own national security. When people are well fed, they can also work more, and this helps grow our own economy by creating trade opportunities. All in all, there are a lot more pros than cons when talking about getting rid of global hunger. We just have to make the commitment together, to encourage our elected officials to vote yes on the International Affairs Budget by calling and emailing them.

Together, we can show how strong of a community Suffolk truly is, and how we can show up for those in need.

Sonali Anand