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Over half of the world lives in poverty, which means people don’t have access to fresh drinking water, adequate shelter, enough food or proper education. While children around the world are dying from lack of medical treatment or malnutrition, the United States has the largest military defense budget in history, far surpassing defense spending of any other country. Additionally, the United States has the resources to end global poverty while still having the largest defense budget on record.

Many people seem to think that the United States spends far more on foreign aid than it does. The truth is, the United States spends less than 1 percent of its budget on foreign aid.

The Borgen Project is an organization dedicated to addressing global poverty and lobbying Congress to act. The Borgen Project believes that the United States should be doing more because it has the money to end global poverty. Furthermore, the U.S. could benefit from helping the world’s poor, as people who are brought out of poverty start spending money on commodities and increasing the number of consumers in the world.

I urge Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt to support the international affairs budget. I also ask that people who believe the U.S. should be doing more to call or email their congressional leaders to support the international affairs budget.

Lauren Baker  •  St. Charles