Last week, Bill Gates spoke to 20 government leaders, including President Barack Obama, about the importance of continuing foreign aid.
Throughout the last 50 years, foreign aid has contributed to the great amount of progress thatâÄôs been made in developing countries, resulting in lower mortality rates and a higher quality of life.
Given the current budget climate in our nation, itâÄôs no surprise that the House has proposed cutting 18 percent of aid towards programs that promote global agriculture and economic development. In addition to these cuts, they proposed a 9-percent cut of aid towards global health programs.
The U.S. has lent a hand to other countries through foreign aid, which has provided much progress and improvement. Stopping this flow of money would drastically slow this progress and hurt development and advancement in other countries.
In his talk, Gates specifically pointed out three reasons why aid is still crucial for developing countries. First, U.S. aid funds innovation that poor governments and unstable private sectors cannot support. These innovations provide solutions in agriculture, health and several other areas.
Next, investing in the development of poor countries is good for everyone involved. When there are more highly educated, healthy countries, there is more prosperity for all.
Finally, what most people do not realize is that the U.S. spends barely more than 1 percent of its budget on developing countries. In comparison, it spends 15 percent on defense.
Congress should listen to Gates and keep foreign aid flowing to improve the lives of others.