10 Reasons to Invest in Foreign Aid

By Bailey Rose Boyle on July 26, 2018
Disclaimer: The views, information and or opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Uloop and its affiliates, nor is it endorsed by Uloop. Readers should do their own research on any reporting, facts, and other information included in the article before forming their own opinions.

What are the personal gains of chipping in to build a school, or support malaria prevention? Here are a few reasons why investing in foreign aid may be more beneficial than having a flashy portfolio:

1. Foreign aid makes the world healthier.

USAID alone has delivered over one billion health treatments to treat tropical diseases, and has emerged as a leader in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, along with the World Health Organization. The global child mortality rate has halved in the last 28 years, largely due to help from foreign aid groups.

2. Foreign aid expands educational opportunities.

Researchers have found that aid-recipient countries see increased enrollment at schools. There is now a 90% enrollment rate in the world’s primary schools, meaning more people will be perusing institutions of higher education and technical job training later.

3. Foreign aid makes the global economy stronger.

An educated, food-secure, and healthy population is much more likely to participate in the world economy than a population that is not.

According to Ricardo Michel, an official at the U.S. Global Development Lab, “Already, the poorest two-thirds of the world’s population accounts for $5 trillion in purchasing power, and there is every indication that the economic power of low- and middle-income countries will only increase in the coming years…”

10 Reasons to Invest in Foreign Aid

via Pixabay

4. Foreign aid facilitates global connections.

Africa is nearing one billion mobile subscriptions, and Project Loon is providing WiFi with tennis court-sized balloons. Development goals in several countries look to increase total global connectedness to the internet, which means access to healthcare information and job sites as well as social media.

5. Foreign aid inspires innovation. 

American tech company initiatives, such as 4Afrika by Microsoft, fund local tech start-ups. For example, the Cardiopad, a touchpad device for heart exams and a breakthrough in medical technology, was invented in Cameroon.

6. Foreign aid helps the environment.

The connection between global poverty and carbon dioxide emissions may not be obvious at first, but diversification of energy sources means new jobs and resources for everyone. As the global economy grows, emissions go down.

7. Foreign aid promotes equality for women.

More women are running for office—and winning seats—than ever before. Reducing poverty through donations to foreign aid offers women access to education and healthcare, improving their financial and social independence.

10 Reasons to Invest in Foreign Aid

via Pixabay

8. Foreign aid helps stabilize states in conflict. 

A 2017 study published in the Global Health Journal found that “The highest quartile of US health aid per capita spending… was associated with a large and immediate decline in the level of state fragility.” This means that places with more humanitarian aid are less likely to erupt with violence and collapse, making a safer place for everyone.

9. Foreign aid hinders the influence of terrorist groups. 

Groups like ISIS are successful in poorer regions, incentivizing new recruits with the promise of resources. If foreign aid provides resources to these regions first, terrorist groups suffer a major blow to their campaign of fear.

As U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a 2017 argument for funding foreign aid programs, “The worst nightmare for al Qaeda is to come into a community that feels supported and has hope.”

10. Foreign aid has a chance to produce a direct return.

A charitable donation to a foreign aid organization with 501(c)(3) status is claimable on tax returns. Buying stock in Kroger is not.

Bailey (she/her, they/them) is an activist, performing artist, and writer from Chicago, Illinois. Currently, she attends McDaniel College, and is expected to graduate in 2020.

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