Less than one per cent of the U.S. federal budget goes towards foreign aid. That’s about 30 billion dollars, in comparison to the 663 billion dollars that goes towards military. That is a big difference. And with 22,000 children worldwide dying every day from poverty-related issues, it seems ironic that we devote so much money towards killing people and starting wars than saving lives and gaining peace.
I could go more in depth on how ending global poverty helps America by opening up more job opportunities and such, but here’s the thing: we think way too much about how helping others will help ourselves. What happened to helping others out of pure human kindness?
When you know you’re saving the life of a five year old fighting hunger, do you need another reason to help? Too many people die because we spend too long thinking about how it’s not our problem, how someone else will do something, how it doesn’t benefit us. And, yes, poverty in America is a big problem, just as important as global poverty, but consider this: 95 per cent of the world’s population is outside the United States, and, here in America, everyone has the privilege of getting basic education, a job and receiving emergency medical care. With less opportunity for a quality education, rampant unemployment and less access to primary health care, can’t developing countries use some help from those who have more to give?
Nobody is asking much. You don’t need to travel to Africa and be a doctor. You don’t even have to donate. Just start spreading the word. Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper, like I have. Call into a radio show and talk about global poverty. Hang up fliers. You can even call your Congressional leaders to support the International Affairs Budget. I’m not asking that you give your whole life to ending global poverty. But let’s do more.