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Joe Biden’s Stance on Foreign Policy
Former Vice President Joe Biden recently announced his candidacy for the 2020 Presidential campaign. Biden served as V.P. from 2009 to 2016 under the 47th President of the United States, Barack Obama. His political career in Congress began in 1973 where he served as Senator of Delaware and a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. He has the most foreign affairs experience out of all the candidates for President. Joe Biden’s stance on foreign policy gives insight into how he will act if the American people elect him to the seat of President.

Joe Biden’s stance on foreign policy does not align with traditional principles of the Democratic party. He has been quoted as saying that despite the difficulty and cost, the United States must be the global leader in foreign policy initiatives. He is the standout favorite of the Democratic candidates, not only because of his experience, but also his moderate position on key political issues like foreign policy.

A Question of Priorities

Although Joe Biden’s stance on foreign policy demonstrates that he is willing to address global poverty, it is unclear if it is one of his top priorities. His legislative history includes co-sponsoring a bill to eradicate extreme global poverty for the more than a billion people. The strategy developed by the bill was to halve the number of those living on less than a dollar a day by 2015. This effort points to Biden’s recognition of the immediate need to improve living conditions for the world’s poorest through U.S. intervention.

Global Economics and Trade

In a 2016 speech, Biden touted the immense value of foreign trade to the global economy. He promoted selling more products and services abroad, where the vast majority of the world’s consumers reside. The World Bank estimates that about 82 percent of the world’s population is poor. Although those who live in extreme poverty do not currently have the purchasing power to buy American products and services, the potential is still there, should their economic situation improve. Biden’s stance on foreign policy recognizes that small consumers are still consumers and if the U.S. focuses on improving trading relationships and increasing foreign aid, the American economy will benefit greatly.

Outside of Partisan Politics

Joe Biden’s stance on foreign policy does not directly align with either Democrats or Republicans. He remarked that Republicans lacked strategy and Democrats were not tough enough when it came to foreign policy. Biden is generally dovish on foreign policy and values the importance of dialogue with all countries, prior to the use of military force. Biden is also a strong proponent of supplying foreign aid to countries in need. In 1999, he voted down a bill to cap foreign aid at $12.7 billion and rather sees a need to increase aid spending to developing countries. Among other bills that Biden supported while in Congress was a multi-year commitment in 2001 to supply food and medicine to Africa.

The Big Issues

Overall, Joe Biden’s stance on foreign policy demonstrates that he values peaceful compromises and nonviolent negotiation tactics. He also has a strong record of supporting foreign aid assistance to developing nations. International aid proponents will closely monitor Biden’ statements during his presidential campaign regarding foreign policy and extreme poverty overseas.

Jessica Haidet
Photo: Flickr

Kamala Harris's foreign policy

With such a broad field of candidates in the Democratic Primary, twenty in all, it is difficult to identify and to process the political positions of the various candidates. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) has spoken on her positions on many topics including a $15 minimum wage and tax-cuts to the middle class. One issue that has not yet been discussed at length is Senator Kamala Harris’ foreign policy platform. Like many of the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination, Harris does not have any direct foreign policy experience. As a former district attorney of San Francisco and later the attorney general of California, Harris holds strong experience and policy stances in regards to domestic policy. Harris currently holds opinions on the following issues: U.S. and Israel Relations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, direct U.S. involvement abroad, and North Korea.

U.S. and Israel Relations

Harris is a long-time supporter of strong relations between the U.S. and Israel, a topic that has become contentious within the Democratic Party. In 2017, Harris cosponsored a Senate resolution that challenged an earlier resolution from the U.N. Security Council which called for an end to the expansion of Israeli settlements into the West Bank region. This particular Senate resolution stated that it felt that the U.N. resolution condemned the state of Israel as a whole and not just the actions of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government. In the past, Harris has stated that she believes in a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and that she supports U.S. backed discussion between the two states. It is too early to tell, but Kamala Harris’s foreign policy platform will likely include a continuation of her support for a two-state solution with an emphasis on a continued relationship between the U.S. and Israel.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Senator Harris, along with senators from both parties, opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP was introduced at the end of Obama’s presidency in 2016 and was promptly withdrawn by President Trump in Jan. 2017. The deal would have connected the U.S. in a formal trade agreement with Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. The agreement had the potential to increase U.S. trade and investment abroad. Harris’ own reasons for voting against the TPP include her belief that the agreement was not as apparent as it should have been to garner the full support and trust of the U.S. and that she found its intended changes to invalidate “California’s landmark climate change and environmental laws.” It is currently unclear if Harris intends to advocate for a re-entry of the U.S. into the TPP under revised conditions.

Direct Involvement Abroad: Syria and Yemen

In February of 2019, Harris voted against a Senate resolution proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that admonished President Trump’s removal of U.S. troops from Syria. Senator Harris did not publically explain her vote but may have been motivated by a desire to remove U.S. troops from Syria or a reluctance to be associated with a military presence that had not been authorized by Congress. Harris has also been vocal in her disapproval of U.S. support of a Saudi-led intervention in Yemen stating that she “believes we must reassert our constitutional authority to authorize war and conduct oversight.”

North Korea

Senator Harris has not made any direct statements regarding her planned approach to the rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korea but has declared that she disapproves of President Trump’s current approach to the situation. Along with eighteen other senators, Harris signed a letter to President Trump in 2018 stating that he did not have the legal authority to declare a strike on North Korea. From such a statement alongside her other positions in regard to U.S. foreign involvement in conflict abroad, Senator Harris’ foreign policy platform will likely include an emphasis on the power of Congress.

Though it is still early in the Democratic primary and many of the candidates have not yet discussed their foreign policy platforms, the above descriptions of the history of Senator Harris’ foreign policy positions will certainly guide the debates to follow.

– Anne Pietrow
Photo: Flickr

President Trump’s Threat to Cut Foreign Aid
President Trump’s administration has proposed cutting the foreign aid budget, hindering the country’s ability to fund outreach organizations and decreasing the country’s global influence. Such threats limit low-middle income countries’ ability to grow out of poverty and increase potential security threats. While President Trump claims that the U.S. spends a great deal of money on foreign aid (currently $54.4 billion), this figure makes up only 0.26 percent of the country’s total GDP.

President Trump’s Threat to Cut Foreign Aid

The U.S. spends $598 billion on the military budget, according to The National Priorities Project. Congress has consistently rejected the President’s proposals to cut funding for Central America in an effort to promote peace and assistance, as well as decrease illegal immigration. However, negotiations are becoming difficult as the current administration increases threats to slash aid. President Trump is implementing a “New Africa Strategy” with foreign aid, where he plans to only spend aid in foreign countries that will further U.S. priorities and be of benefit to the country. The administration stated that they will no longer provide aid to countries working against U.S. interests.

Foreign Aid, Domestic Improvement

These measures neglect the fact that many countries that the U.S. sends foreign aid to become consumers of U.S. goods once they are self-sufficient. In fact, 43 of the top 50 nations consuming U.S. agriculture products are former aid recipients and reaping a large return effect.
Foreign aid strengthens the U.S. economy by creating more markets and trading partners. For example, the Marshall Plan involved the U.S. sending aid to rebuild Western Europe — a plan that proved cost-effective due to its market creation that resulted in strengthening the U.S. economy. Studies suggest that rather than neglecting nations that don’t directly help the U.S., more aid should actually be sent to countries that resort to violence.

More Aid, More Allies

The countries who pose the greatest security threat to the U.S. are the ones receiving the least aid, according to Foreign Policy; however, by investing in health and development instead of the military, the U.S. could actually increase security. Countries receiving health and development aid tend to move towards peace and favor the U.S. By giving aid to countries and allowing them to rise up towards a more stable living environment, they become more peaceful and, in turn, better allies for the United States.
These facts gained from studies on foreign aid suggest that in order to promote U.S. influence and international economic growth and decrease security threats and illegal immigration, foreign aid should be increased.
– Anna Power
Photo: USAID

Protecting Girls' Education in Vulnerable Settings ActIn the fiscal year (FY) 2019, the federal government plans on spending $27.7 billion on foreign assistance. This money will go to over 100 countries around the world. The money is broken down into nine categories including economic development, health, humanitarian assistance and education and social services. Education and social services are projected to receive $645 million dollars in FY 2019. S. 1580 will affect how this money is spent. What is Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act or S. 1580? It is a bill that focuses on giving more educational and economic opportunities to displaced girls.

What is the Problem?

In 2016, 65.6 million people were identified as forcibly displaced. This number included three different populations: refugees, people displaced within their own countries and asylum seekers. In 2018, the number of displaced people grew to roughly 68 million people. Refugees make up approximately 25 million displaced people and half of the refugees are children. Many of these children do not have access to education. This is largely because a majority of refugees are hosted by the least developed countries in the world.

What is Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act or S. 1580?

S. 1580 or Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act, is a bill that advocates the education of girls who have been displaced all over the world. The bill also grants The Department of State and The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) the ability to work on programs that will aid displaced girls. These programs must provide safe primary and secondary education, increase the capacity of schools in host countries and help girls receive access to educational and economic opportunities.

Under S. 1580, the State Department and USAID are also encouraged to collect data with the help of multilateral organizations. This data will be about how accessible schooling and economic opportunities are for displaced people and if the programs put in place by the bill have benefited them.

How Much Will S. 1580 Cost?

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), S. 1580 has an insignificant cost to the federal government. Between 2019 and 2023, the bill will cost roughly $500,000, S. 1580 is drawing from funds that are already being given and does not require much additional funding. S. 1580 would also not create any budget deficits, i.e. it will not contribute to the national debt.

Where is the Bill Now?

S. 1580 was introduced in the Senate on July 19, 2017, by Sen. Marco Rubio. On July 26, 2018, the Committee on Foreign Relations issued a revised version of the bill without a written report to the Senate. Since then, the bill remains in limbo and there is currently no date for a vote on the bill. S. 1580 currently has 18 cosponsors, a majority of which are Democrats.

Foreign aid remains a small portion of the U.S. budget, approximately 1 percent. Despite this small number, it is important that the U.S. makes sure that money for foreign aid reaches the people that need it the most. S. 1580 ensures that conflicts and natural disasters do not get in the way of girls’ education. What is S. 1580? An opportunity to invest in girls who desperately need an education.

– Drew Garbe 
Photo: Flickr

How the US Benefits From Foreign Aid to Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan, once part of the Soviet bloc, transformed from a one-party communist state into a republican democracy in 1991. Despite its reforms, though, the country is beset by both extreme poverty and government incompetence. With a significant portion of the population destitute, a thriving illegal narcotics market and ethnic tensions between native Kyrgyz and migrant Uzbeks, American investment in its government and people would see substantive U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Kyrgyzstan in terms of security.

State of Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan’s location in geographically-isolated Central Asia and its lack of natural energy resources, such as oil and gas, prevent it from emulating the industrial rise of neighboring economic goliaths, Russia and China.

The inherent difficulty of encouraging economic growth, coupled with institutional problems and social disorder, has resulted in high poverty rates in Kyrgyzstan. As of 2010, more than 40 percent of Kyrgyzstan residents live below the poverty line. High rates of homelessness and unemployment have turned many to narcotics.

Factors Leading to Revolution

Trafficking drugs across a long, unguarded border with other Central Asian countries linked to Afghanistan is a profitable enterprise, making it lucrative to those who do not have sustainable incomes. The second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan, Osh, is often referred to as the “drug capital” due to the volume of illegal narcotics that passes through the city near Kyrgyzstan’s southern border.

In 2012, authorities seized at least six tons of various substances ranging from cannabis to heroin. The rampant nature of the drug problem, and the government’s inability to resolve it, was one factor that led to revolution.

In June of 2010, more than 350 people were killed in southern Kyrgyzstan during the Second Kyrgyz Revolution over a variety of issues —  rape, wealth inequality between rural Kyrgyzstan migrants and urban Uzbeks and gang turf wars over the aforementioned drugs were a few. About 66 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s population is Kyrgyz, with some 14 percent identifying as Uzbeks. The violence between the two ethnic groups in the larger frame of regime change displaced hundreds of thousands of citizens and left the region in turmoil.

Ethnic Tension and Cultural Conflict

Poverty is a breeding ground for radicalism. Its perpetuation is often a vicious cycle, wherein poverty causes political instability, resulting in civil wars and terrorism at home and abroad. These conflicts then wipe out much-needed crops and necessary social institutions like hospitals and schools. In Kyrgyzstan’s case, ethnic tension resulted from lopsided poverty and unaffordable utility prices.

It would be a mistake to assume, however, that the conflict between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz is limited to only Kyrgyzstan or Central Asia. In April 2017, an Uzbek born in Kyrgyzstan killed 14 in St. Petersburg, Russia by rail attack. In October 2017, an Uzbek immigrant killed eight in New York by driving a truck through pedestrians. More than 1,500 Uzbeks have joined the Islamic State, ostracized by many of the countries — especially Kyrgyzstan — they once lived in.

This global violence, spawned in part by the ineptitude of a corrupt and autocratic government in preventing the continuance of radicalization, is not in the interest of either the Kyrgyzstan people or the United States. Just as Kyrgyzstan benefits from foreign aid to Kyrgyzstan, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Kyrgyzstan.

In the decades since the Soviet Union’s dissolution, subsequent American administrations have supplied aid intended mostly for the Kyrgyz Republic’s agricultural economy and on-the-ground humanitarian efforts. But it can do more — more for its government and more for its people.

U.S. Benefits From Foreign aid to Kyrgyzstan

Earmarking additional funds could support anti-corruption initiatives to dampen the prevalence of drug transport and abuse among the population. Increased investment in Kyrgyzstan’s energy sector could also diminish dependence on foreign energy and stabilize utility prices. A reduction in poverty and boost in living standards would increase income equality and alleviate some of the tension between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz that currently plagues the country, and by extension of terrorist activity, the world.

As terrorism is such a buzzword in American politics today, preventing it would surely be high on most elected officials’ to-do lists. Helping the Kyrgyz Republic overcome its multidimensional poverty — which can prevent terrorist activity and save lives both in the United States and abroad — would increase national security at a fraction of the cost of not doing so.

To reiterate: the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Kyrgyzstan. The current administration’s plan to drastically cut its designated aid funds would render most, if not all, of these benefits void.

– Alex Qi
Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to Dominica
Natural disasters occur globally, and many countries overcome these disasters with the help of foreign aid. Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm, hit Dominica on September 18, 2017. USAID has sent assistance to Dominica, which becomes beneficial to the U.S. by building good relations and maintaining a positive reputation by working with other countries in providing foreign assistance to Dominica.

The U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Dominica by Fostering Good Relations

All countries, especially impoverished ones, need help to recover from a natural disaster of Hurricane Maria’s magnitude. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica by stepping in and using its power to help, which strengthens relations between the countries. After Hurricane Maria, Samaritan’s Purse, the Pan American Health Organization and the International Federation of the Red Cross, all under USAID, were able to contribute $3.25 million in foreign aid to Dominica.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Southern Command worked with USAID’s Caribbean Hurricanes Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to help repair roofs in Dominica that were damaged by the hurricane. USAID provided plastic sheeting and DART taught a group of local builders how to use the tools provided to fix the damaged roofs properly. Through donations and direct assistance to individuals, the U.S. is building good relations with other countries.

International Collaborations Build a Positive Reputation

The U.S. has worked with other countries to provide water, food and tools to rebuild Dominica immediately after Hurricane Maria hit the island. The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) contributed about 10 metric tons of food, which fed around 25,000 people in Dominica over three months. By assisting with the WFP’s food distribution, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica by using its resources to help impoverished countries, which grows a positive international reputation.

Collaborations with other countries to help provide foreign aid to developing countries do make a difference and help the U.S. maintain a positive reputation. According to Diálogo Digital Military Magazine, the prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, commented positively on the progress the U.S. and other countries have made. He stated, “We have many allies. Thanks for helping my people, without you, our partner nations, it would not have been possible to get past the first phase of this emergency.”

Countries dealing with poverty and disasters benefit from other countries stepping in to help via foreign aid, and that help allows the affected country to get back on its feet. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica through maintaining its positive reputation by doing good for poor countries.

While natural disasters can do great damage to countries dealing with poverty, those countries can also recover promptly with the foreign aid provided by other countries. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Dominica by connecting with its people to encourage good relations, as well as ensuring a positive reputation by reaching out to less developed countries in times of need. The U.S. can retain in its positive relationship with the government of Dominica by continuing to support the country, especially when natural disasters hit.

– Kelly Kipfer
Photo: Flickr

foreign aid helps the U.S.
Giving, especially in the form of foreign aid, has shown to cultivate meaningful relationships among people and countries, some that lead to rewarding trading agreements amid other benefits. Recent history has particularly exhibited how foreign aid helps the U.S., which is a crucial consideration in the political dialogue surrounding the current foreign aid budget.

Foreign Aid Helps the U.S. with Trade

One valuable return the U.S. has received in its giving of foreign aid to other developing countries has been the increase in American jobs as well as trade. Foreign aid is much like an investment; it helps to forge the foundation needed for low-income countries to build up and become middle-income, sustainable states. Here are some examples:

  1. After World War II, U.S. foreign aid to Japan helped recover Japan’s infrastructure and highly contributed to the success of American companies like Microsoft.
  2. The U.S. now trades and does business with former recipients of foreign aid, such as South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam and Thailand.
  3. The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) successfully slowed down the AIDS epidemic and countries that received such aid have, in turn, consumed more American goods. Exports rose 77 percent in Tanzania, 189 percent in Zambia and 241 percent in Ethiopia.
  4. PEPFAR is one of the strong determinants of increases in the trade of pharmaceuticals.
  5. Foreign aid has attributed $46 billion more in U.S. exports and 920,000 more jobs in the U.S.
  6. In 2011, 44.6 percent of U.S. exports went to developing countries.
  7. In Tennessee alone, more than $33 billion in goods and services were exported to foreign countries in 2014 and this trade, in turn, supports over 22 percent of jobs, 830,000 local jobs to be specific.

Foreign Aid Helps with Health

Foreign aid helps the U.S. in preventing global epidemics that could otherwise be much worse. While assisting developing countries with their challenges in health, the U.S. also does its duty to minimize any possible health issues and diseases from traveling overseas or across borders to the U.S. There has been a great number of such instances, such as:

  • The U.S. was the largest funder of a number of health workers stationed in Nigeria with the original goal of polio eradication. The workers were later reassigned and succeeded in countering the infamous Ebola epidemic.
  • The PEPFAR program has helped stop the spread of AIDS by supplying life-saving medicines to over 14 million people.

Foreign Aid Helps with National Security

One of the non-negotiable benefits the U.S. reaps from its giving of foreign aid to developing countries is an improvement in national security. To prevent a third world war, the U.S. created what is now the modern development assistance program to avoid further instability in Europe.

Stability in developing countries is key in preventing future political issues from unfolding. The U.S. has defense agreements with 131 out of the 135 countries that it provides foreign aid to.

The importance of international aid lies in economic benefits, such as trading proliferations, as much as health and national security. As evidenced above, it is clear that there is truth in the fact that foreign aid helps the U.S. just as much as it helps other nations.

– Roberto Carlos Ventura
Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a country rich in mineral, agricultural, forestry and fishery resources. The country suffers from weak governance, corruption, limited capacity to deliver basic services, a deterioration of its health system and a concentrated HIV/AIDS epidemic among key populations. 

With the help of U.S. bilateral and multilateral assistance, Papua New Guinea has experienced recent economic progress based around its abundant energy, agricultural and mineral resources. As a result, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Papua New Guinea as well.

For the 2017 fiscal year, U.S. aid to Papua New Guinea totaled $9.1 million. The largest areas of focus included strengthening HIV/AIDS services for more at-risk populations ($3.5 million), disaster readiness ($3.5 million) and general climate protection through the Pacific-American Climate Fund ($1.6 million).

Providing the opportunity for stability in impoverished countries strengthens their stability and benefits the U.S. through contributing to trade and foreign relations. 

Trade a Key Way the U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Papua New Guinea

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Papua New Guinea through trade relations. In 2016, the U.S. had a trade surplus with Papua New Guinea of $35 million. U.S. goods exports to Papua New Guinea totaled $127 million in 2016, while U.S. goods imports totaled $92 million. Key U.S. exports included machinery and mechanical appliances, cereals and aircraft.

The major U.S. exports to Papua New Guinea are petroleum and mining machinery and aircraft. Imports to the U.S. from Papua New Guinea include gold, copper ore, cocoa, coffee and other agricultural products. 

Additionally, through the U.S.-Pacific Islands Multilateral Tuna Fisheries Treaty, Papua New Guinea is able to access U.S. fishing vessels in exchange for a license fee from the U.S. industry.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Papua New Guinea through foreign relations. The United States and Papua New Guinea meet through a mutual membership in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). APEC facilitates trade and investment, economic growth and regional cooperation. It serves as the leading forum in the Asia Pacific community and focuses on developing and strengthening the multilateral trading system, increasing the interdependence of member economies and promoting sustainable economic growth in the region. 

APEC’s work is non-binding, meaning that decisions are made based on consensus and commitments are taken voluntarily. APEC has contributed to the reduction of barriers to trade, such as tariffs, which has led to the expansion of economic growth and international trade in the region.

U.S. Promote Good Governance in Papua New Guinea

In addition to APEC, the United States and Papua New Guinea have a history of close partnership. The two countries work together to combat issues such as improving transparency and good governance, fighting human trafficking, restraining the effects of climate change, protecting fisheries, improving public health and promoting gender equality. The militaries of both the U.S. and Papua New Guinea have a cooperative security assistance relationship that focuses on joint humanitarian exercises and the training of Papua New Guinean military personnel.

Papua New Guinea and the U.S. belong to several of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Pacific Community and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program.

The U.S. aims to improve countries around the world by supporting them with foreign aid. Countries such as Papua New Guinea have shown that the money provided to them has strengthened their economic conditions, and in turn, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Papua New Guinea through trade and foreign relations. 

– Anne-Marie Maher
Photo: Flickr

U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Nauru

Nauru is a small island nation that, on a map, seems like a speck in the ocean. However, there are 10,000 people that live here, and a dire situation faces the population. As the world faces rising temperatures, island nations like Nauru are in grave danger. According to the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, sea levels are scheduled to rise between 2 and 3 feet this century. If greenhouse gas emissions are not slowed, sea levels could rise even faster, which would lead to a devastating situation in Nauru producing thousands of refugees and the loss of a homeland.

The current U.S. administration has been slashing budgets for foreign aid, and many have condemned this nationalistic approach to global poverty. The International Rescue Committee has called the proposed cuts “counterproductive and ill-timed,” especially in the face of global instability due to climate change. Considering the ways in which the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Nauru, these cuts seem counterproductive.

President Trump banned the provision of U.S. funds to countries supportive of Georgia’s “Russian Occupied Territories” in 2017. Since Nauru recognized these territories as independent, it is losing U.S. funding in a time of dire need. The U.S. has historically provided direct assistance to Nauru in the form of water-tanker trucks and aid for Nauru’s law enforcement. Many are urging the U.S. government to reconsider, as countries like Nauru are in extreme need of aid.

The fact of the matter is that when the U.S. provides foreign aid, it boosts national security and helps the global economy. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Nauru, as, according to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, everyone is better off when there are more middle-income countries in the world.

Shared prosperity prevents global epidemics and war, and promotes U.S. exports because more countries can afford them. In addition, it promotes global stability and improves the mindset of Americans in a humanitarian manner. Another way that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Nauru is that it will prevent a refugee humanitarian crisis, as is happening in Syria.

More specifically to this country, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Nauru by the provision of seafood stocks to U.S. fisherman. Nauru is home to the world’s largest sustainable tuna fishery. The fishery is a global leader in tuna conservation, and it provides a product that many U.S. consumers enjoy. If Nauru is not provided aid, world tuna stocks will greatly deplete, which would be destructive to this industry.

The World Bank strongly champions the benefits of foreign aid to Nauru in relation to fish stocks, and addressed this topic in conjunction with increasing economic returns and sustainable management. If there is targeted investment, an extra $300 million could be netted without depleting fish stocks. This aid would greatly improve Nauru’s economy, creating benefits for U.S. exporters and fishermen.

The facts are clear: Nauru needs help, and it needs it now. Experts are condemning current U.S. policy that prohibits aid. The good news is, by providing funds to Nauru, the U.S. is also benefitting itself.

– Jillian Fox
Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Armenia
Ever since Armenia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, it has shared a mutually beneficial relationship with the U.S. As a country attempting to recover from widespread poverty and corruption, the benefits Armenia receives from organizations like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are clear. Yet, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Armenia are significant in their own right.

Some of these benefits include increased stability and independence so that Armenia can resist Russian pressure and have closer ties with the Euro-Atlantic community. Both politically and economically, the U.S. has much to gain from cultivating greater stability and economic growth in Armenia.

Achieving Government Stability

Since Armenian independence in 1991, the government has struggled to maintain a stable democracy the Armenian people can trust. Fortunately, USAID is working with both the government and citizens to build trustworthy institutions that work for the people. By creating stability in the region, the U.S. benefits directly from Armenian foreign aid by gaining a trustworthy political ally in the region that champions U.S. ideals and supports U.S. goals. These are a few ways USAID is helping to achieve this goal:

  1. Media for Engaged Civil Public Project
    One of the backbones of a strong democracy is a trustworthy media that properly informs its public. This program plans to set up a healthy media as well as media watchdogs to prevent excessive bias.
  2. Engaged Citizenry for a Responsible Government Project
    USAID is helping to increase activity in local government and create an engaged public. Many Armenians are uninformed about their government or do not believe they can make a difference. This program aims to change that.
  3. Local Government Reform Activity
    By helping to decentralize the Armenian government, USAID is helping to create natural checks and balances in the system and give power back to local areas.

These are just a few of the ways USAID is helping Armenia achieve a sustainable government. The U.S. plans to give just over $3 million for “Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance” as well as “Peace and Security” in 2019. In return, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Armenia through gaining a strong ally in the region that is trustworthy and stable.

The U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Armenia by Developing a Trade Partner

With greater economic stability in Armenia, the country becomes a reliable trade partner for the U.S. While GDP growth in the country has steadily been on the rise in recent years, there is still progress to be made. In 2019, more than $3 million will be allocated through USAID for the express purpose of economic development. Some of the ways USAID plans to use this money to help Armenia are:

  1. The Partnership for Rural Prosperity Program
    Despite consistent GDP growth, Armenia still struggles in the disparity between urban centers and rural areas. This project aims to alleviate this gap by providing economic opportunities to rural regions, improving access to markets and reinforcing infrastructure.
  2. Agribusiness Teaching Center
    This program aims to educate the Armenian public on agriculture and agribusiness while conducting research to help local farmers. As a hub for agricultural knowledge, this center will provide a strong foundation upon which to build an agricultural community.
  3. Tax Reform Project
    This program hopes to create a more accessible dialogue between the lawmakers deciding tax rates and the citizens paying them. It also hopes to reform the tax code in a way that makes it easier for citizens to start small businesses.

Through these programs and others, foreign aid to Armenia is helping to develop a powerful ally that can work with the U.S. as a mutually beneficial trading partner. Programs such as these contribute to a strong trade relationship between the two countries, with the U.S.-Armenia Economic Task Force being an indicator of how well the relationship has developed.

Overall, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Armenia are numerous and significant. By investing in the people of this developing country, the U.S. gains a political and economic partner while helping alleviate poverty and corruption.

– Jonathon Ayers
Photo: Flickr