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US Foreign Aid is Vital To Combating The Pandemic

As COVID-19 has shown us all, pandemics know no borders. While the US is facing its own challenges in defeating the virus at home, the world around us hurts as well. However, in the first emergency stimulus package, Congress only allocated less than half of 1% of the total budget for foreign aid.
     People may argue that the US needs to focus on its own citizens before allocating foreign aid, but in this globalized world, we all depend on the health of other countries. In order for our public health, economy, and national security to be secure, we need to help contain the pandemic and its effects abroad.
     Based on our current funding, Oxfam predicts 500 million people could enter into poverty. In order to prevent this figure from becoming a fact, Congress must allocate $20 billion in the next emergency supplemental for the International Affairs Budget to fight COVID-19 abroad. The funds would be divided into the Global Health Pandemic Response, Humanitarian Assistance, and US Frontline Operational Response teams. $20 billion may seem steep, but organizations such as The Borgen Project, which specialize in poverty reduction legislation, recommend this, especially in response to the European Union’s 15.6-billion-euro allocation for foreign aid to fight the pandemic.
     I urge Massachusetts’ congressional representatives, such as Sen. Warren, Sen. Markey, and Rep. Trahan, to support this emergency funding to protect both US citizens and the world’s poor in the fight against COVID-19.
 
Grace Harlan
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