Living in the United States, especially Loudoun County, our privilege is so ingrained in our lives that we often don’t acknowledge it. However, living where we live, it has become increasingly more obvious to me how much of a role we have in fighting global poverty. It is no secret that the United States is the most influential and powerful country in the world. However, the aid it provides to low-income countries is disproportionate to the power and wealth it holds. Living in such a powerful nation, it is very easy to assume that the United States must be contributing significantly to the well-being of impoverished nations. The average American holds the assumption that the US contributes 20% of its federal budget towards ending global poverty when the reality is that the amount is less than 1%.
It’s only after working at the Borgen Project that I’ve realized how much downsizing global poverty truly helps the US as well. Although diminishing global poverty is a moral obligation, poverty abroad has a direct social and economic effect on the US. A significant portion of the US economy depends on global trade with one-fifth of the American population’s career connected to external trade, to help the world is to help ourselves. Historically many of the U.S’ major trading partners have been those very countries assisted by US foreign aid. Many large American corporations have appealed to the US government to increase funding towards alleviating global poverty, recognizing the benefit it has for the US economy.
With that, I encourage everyone to make sure to be involved in the fight against global poverty. There are incredible organizations working to fight and end global poverty. Be sure to engage and donate to non-governmental organizations like the Borgen Project. Through having a role in the growth of others we inevitably grow ourselves.