Less than 1% of the federal budget goes to international affairs. Increasing foreign aid can have positive effects on the United States economically and politically.
Americans tend to believe that we live in this bubble that is entirely separate from the rest of the world. However, this is simply not true and has proven to be a problematic mindset during the COVID-19 pandemic. Viruses do not respect the concepts of borders and citizenships, and expecting them to do so has proven itself very dangerous for American citizens.
This pandemic is an international issue. That should encourage congressional leaders to support foreign aid. In this case, foreign aid would include medical assistance to poverty-stricken countries and readiness tactics to help slow or even stop the arrival of a new pandemic. None of the congressional leaders in California have supported this type of international poverty-reduction legislation.
The Borgen Project is an advocacy nonprofit that focuses on foreign aid through lobbying our congressional leaders to co-sponsor international poverty reduction bills. Currently, their top legislative priorities are bills that are centered around providing medical aid to impoverished countries abroad who are also fighting the pandemic.
One of the largest concerns of the pandemic is how it would destroy the economy. Foreign aid has a positive influence on that as well. Increasing foreign aid helps to stimulate the U.S. economy by opening new markets that did not exist before. Supporting foreign aid that would help to contain COVID-19 abroad would allow for new international markets to open, helping the U.S. economy as we continue our fight against the pandemic domestically.