A minimum of 265 million people globally are at risk of starvation because of the impacts of COVID-19. It is a daunting number, but the United States has the power to help those individuals. The U.S. can help all of them and many more by fully funding the international affairs budget. The budget is less than 1 percent of the overall federal budget, but its impact is incalculable.

This budget provides funding for the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps and more. During President Donald Trump’s administration, he proposed cuts to the international affairs budget, but Congress rejected them on a bipartisan vote each time.

The international affairs budget grants the U.S. opportunities to develop jobs internationally and implement agricultural programs to counteract food insecurity and end hunger. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have repeatedly rejected the cuts proposed to the budget. They recognize the dangers that will befall if the cuts pass.

As an intern for The Borgen Project, an organization dedicated to ending global poverty, I recognize the importance of the international affairs budget. I commend our senators for recognizing the United States’ duties to assist our allies and support the international affairs budget. I urge everybody to reach out to our congressional representatives to encourage them to help us do our duty and protect our allies and promote development where possible.

Clara Mulvihill
Raymond

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