Friday Dec 13

A Letter from the Borgen Project: We Got Mail!

Dear Editor:

I am working as a political affairs ambassador with The Borgen Project to advocate and lobby U.S. congressional leaders for the reduction of global poverty. The Borgen Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make global poverty a stronger focus of U.S. foreign policy. Through my internship, I have been able to connect with numerous other passionate people who likewise want to change the world for the better.

The Borgen Project is a national campaign that is working to improve the United States’ response to the global poverty crisis through advocacy and lobbying. We are a non-partisan organization and we don’t accept government funding. We work at the political level to build support in Congress to pass key poverty reduction legislation that makes the United States’ AID dollars more effective.

For example, I met with all three of my congressional leaders in North Carolina to discuss the International Affairs Budget for Fiscal Year 2020 and explained to each of them the benefits that would come to the U.S. with an increase. The International Affairs Budget, which is only 1% of our federal budget, lifts people out of extreme poverty, allows for the opportunity for self-sufficiency and helps to create consumers. As poverty rates drop, it creates more consumers of U.S. goods.

If you were not aware, 95% of the population lives outside of the U.S. so it is not only our moral duty to help, it is in our strategic interest to help. Helping countries develop improves U.S. national security because poverty causes instability in governments and communities. This instability allows for authoritarian regimes to rise up and take control as we have seen with terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Sudan, and Somalia. We alleviate potential threats to U.S. security while making a sound investment beneficial to both parties. Throughout the world, widespread poverty exists due to lack of opportunities. Developing other countries will enable the U.S. to operate in a way that provides numerous benefits. These include widening the consumer market for U.S. goods, and thus creating more jobs. Having more jobs open due to higher demand will begin boosting our economy. Helping other countries out of extreme poverty will allow us to create more allies.

I support The Borgen Project because I believe that everyone in the world, without question, deserves to have their basic physiological needs met. Right now, that is not the case. The U.S. is throwing away so much money on defense. Yes, it is important to have a secure military, however, the issue is people are fighting for extremist groups because they are desperate. In Somalia, people are joining the terrorist group Al-Shabaab not because they agree with what the group is fighting for but because it’s the only way they can survive. In exchange for their service, extremist groups will often provide the soldiers and their families either food or enough money to get food. We would not have nearly as much conflict and the need for a large defense budget if we invested money wisely in these poorer foreign countries.

Sarah Clark This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sarah was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA. She is currently a senior at High Point University majoring in Political Science, and getting her Masters degree in Strategic Communications.

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