Letter to the Editor: Why you should care about the International Affairs Budget

Letter+to+the+Editor%3A+Why+you+should+care+about+the+International+Affairs+Budget

Photo submitted by Allison Steele.

Allison Steele, Guest Contributor

The International Affairs Budget (IAB) is the part of the U.S. budget that goes towards American development and diplomatic programs such as the State Department, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Peace Corps writes fp4amercia.org. USAID works worldwide and focuses on poverty, health crises, education programs, gender equality, and democratic governance. The International Affairs Budget is also tiny. BorgenProject.org writes, “The International Affairs Budget accounts for less than one percent of the federal budget.” However, it’s impact is huge.

Recently, President Donald Trump proposed about a one-third budget cut to USAID. This seems like a strategic move from diplomacy toward military strengthening. This move has been disapproved by many members of the military, writes BorgenProject.org. USAID is one of many agencies related to diplomatic relations and national security. It provides funds, resources, goods, and trade to other countries. By supplying these, the U.S. is investing in other countries as well as itself. When it comes to healthcare, USAID prevents the spread of communicable diseases by providing care to those in need. This in turn, according to BorgenProject.org, also creates a market for low-cost medical technologies.

When it comes to international affairs, IAB is crucial. It fights diseases, provides humanitarian aid, and educates those most vulnerable to drop out. BorgenProject.org says that those who suffer from poverty are less likely to receive aid and health services that prevent diseases.

The IAB has important programs that have a major impact on major global health threats. One of those being Ebola. USAID helped stall the outbreak and it continues to ally itself with local governments and organizations to control any outbreaks that might arise, states BorgenProject.org.

There hasn’t been this big of a budget cut to USAID and the State Department since the early 1990s. This will mean there is less money to fight infectious diseases, fewer programs to recruit new diplomats, and fewer resources to provide life-saving aid to those who need it most. BorgenProject.org states, “The effects of the budget cuts to USAID are undoubtedly going to hinder diplomatic agencies in eliminating poverty around the globe and increasing diplomatic relations with the countries that depend on us the most.” The State Department’s main way to give aid to foreign countries and to strengthen diplomatic relations is USAID.

What can we do to save The International Affairs Budget? It’s simple, contact your congressional leaders in support of the IAB. A simple phone call or email will do the job and they take thirty seconds. One phone call or email could have a huge impact on the world.

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