U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina is a culturally and ethnically rich country situated in the western Balkan peninsula. The U.S. has contributed more than $1.7 billion in foreign aid to the country since 1996, and the country has allocated this aid to rebuilding itself as a nation after the effects of a devastating civil war.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was involved in an ethnically-motivated civil war from 1992 to 1995. It was not until 1995 that NATO intervened and a ceasefire (the Dayton Accords) was negotiated that finally ended the conflict. Today, the Dayton Accords are still in force.

How USAID Has Helped Bosnia and Herzegovina

The millions of dollars donated to the country have been allocated towards efforts of reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, economic development and military rebuilding. USAID assistance has had a large role in numerous projects and programs to get the country back on its feet and helping it become a thriving and economically stable country.

USAID has laid out in its official fact sheet its aid to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the following areas:

  • Rebuild
  • Create Jobs
  • Reduce Rural Poverty
  • Develop A Better Business Environment
  • Introduce a More Efficient Justice System
  • Increase Transparency and Accountability
  • Promote Tolerance and Acceptance
  • Support Marginalized and Vulnerable Groups

In 2016, the EU accepted Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application into the EU, but member states say the country should continue with reform, “including socioeconomic reforms, reforms in the area of rule of law and public administration.” Challenges including the country’s poor governance and an effort made by the Republika Srpska to move the country to secession has made its commitment to the EU-driven package harder to accomplish. Nevertheless, economic reforms made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to join the EU has led to it becoming one of the fastest growing economies in Eastern Europe.

How the U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina

According to the Department of State, “U.S. assistance will help BiH implement this reform package and improve government accountability and efficiency, trade with Europe, and inter-ethnic dialogue and reconciliation.” The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina by securing the country’s stability in the region.

With U.S. assistance, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina joining the EU would bring Bosnia and Herzegovina one step closer to joining NATO, creating a stronger alliance with the U.S. Bosnia and Herzegovina has been vocal since 2008 about its desire to join NATO. Not only did the country join the Partnership for Peace, but has contributed to NATO projects in Afghanistan. Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cooperation with NATO will not only provide defense for the U.S., but will also increase trade between the two countries.

Continued efforts from Bosnia and Herzegovina to reform its social, political, and economic situation in order to enter the EU would allow the EU’s organizations, such as its Common Security and Defense Policy, to ensure that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

– Emma Martin

Photo: Flickr

Foreign aid gives backForeign aid is too often misidentified as charity, with the implication of a one-way relationship. Like other myths surrounding aid, such as its depletion of the federal budget, a reality much different than popular belief silently survives. In truth, only one percent of the U.S. federal budget goes toward foreign aid and shrouded in much the same circumstances lies the fact that foreign aid gives back just as much, and more.

Who Gives to Whom?

According to an article by Jason Hickel, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the Centre for Applied Research at the Norwegian School of Economics completed a study in which they found that a much larger amount of money travels from poor countries to rich countries, rather than the other way around. As of 2015, cumulative foreign investment in the U.S. totaled more than $3 trillion.

Beyond the quantitative, the proof of return on investment manifests in countries like South Korea, Japan and Germany. All having once depended on U.S. aid in their times of need, these nations now play major roles in the global economy.

How Foreign Aid Gives Back to Developed Nations

Consider the fact that half of U.S. exports now go to developing countries and that developing countries’ economies grow three times faster than our own. The economics speak for themselves—with more new consumers to trade and do business with, more growth opportunities arise both at home and abroad. In Tennessee alone, more than 22 percent of jobs are supported by trade—that’s 830,000 reasons to continue investing in developing nations.

Beyond the wallet, though, foreign aid gives back in ways that cannot be measured. Potential new markets keep the U.S. competitive on the world stage, allowing its reputation and influence to spread. As Bill Gates points out, foreign aid even helps to keep the U.S. safe. By its nature, aid fights poverty, promotes development and largely focuses on foundational areas like healthcare, nutrition and education, which provide for a strong infrastructure.

The ultimate goal of this infrastructure-building rests in the ability to form a middle class, and by extension, find some stability. Countries that achieve this are more capable of preventing global health epidemics and are less likely to go to war. Stabilizing these nations by promoting democracy and human rights and by helping to install strong governance has far-reaching effects.

What Drawbacks Exist for Foreign Aid?

While some would argue that corruption and misuse of aid render the process futile, the results drown out the argument. Programs are in place to fight against this kind of criminality and are finding success. Foreign aid gives back in ways never thought of before now, such as:

  • Stopping diseases before they gain global reach.
  • Promoting U.S. exports.
  • Countering violent extremism.
  • Combating climate change through education.
  • Supporting overseas embassies and new allies.

Foreign aid gives back despite the stigma that claims otherwise. Experts say that cutting the U.S. foreign aid budget would do very little to reduce the federal deficit anyway. If the strongest argument against the use of foreign aid remains money, then it is time to take out the wallet and make a change.

– Daniel Staesser

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to RomaniaRomania is a relatively small country in eastern Europe that is bordered by Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Moldova to the east and both Serbia and Bulgaria to the south. Romania’s population in 2017 was 21.5 million, ranking as the 58th largest country in the world in terms of population. Romania joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004 and the European Union in 2007.

The projected amount of aid that will be allocated to Romania from the United States’ budget for foreign assistance is $1.5 million in 2019. The breakdown of how this money will be utilized shows that the majority of it is being earmarked for military aid to troops in nearby regions, according to Information shared on this site further clarifies the importance of U.S. government aid to Romania and specifies which organizations and departments receive funds, such as the Peace Corps. The information provided shows how funds are used; however, the connection between the purposes of the funding and how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Romania is not quite clear without examining the issues from a broader perspective.

Romania is considered to a be a key partner in NATO and allows the U.S. access to military facilities both for training purposes and for closer proximity to nearby regions to the south and east of Romania that are experiencing instability. Currently, Romania is “hosting deployment of the U.S. ballistic missile defense capabilities under the European Phased Adaptive Approach”, which is what constitutes the United States’ contribution to NATO’s ballistic missile defense. Romania is also promulgating stability and greater cooperation among its neighbors by working on improvements in areas of defense, law enforcement, energy, economic development, environment and democratic values in this particularly sensitive area of eastern Europe.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Romania in part because Romania has played a major role in aiding U.S. forces to weaken the Russian threat to American soil and elsewhere in Europe. Planned assistance will therefore be partially devoted to Romanian military modernization efforts, which also serves to strengthen its relationship with the U.S. and other nearby countries. Furthermore, Romania has a prior history of providing aid when needed to Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The country’s willingness to do so is evidence of its standing as a peaceful, forward-thinking ally and worthy member of NATO.

While also addressing the sensitivities regarding the less stable regions surrounding Romania, the country of Romania and those who offer foreign assistance simultaneously work to diminish the threat of Syria, Russia and other potentially hostile nations by creating more partnerships through such benevolence. The end result is ideally improved conditions for Romania and surrounding countries. This is achievable through international efforts to work together to achieve stability, progress and modernization. A better quality of life naturally weakens hostility and thus serves as an intelligent defense for those who have the upper hand. Thus, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Romania, while serving the international community at large as well.

– Bridget Rice

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to DjiboutiA tiny, desert-like East African nation, Djibouti is more synonymous with counter-terrorism and the piracy concerns of its southern neighbor than economic ties to the U.S. However, substantial U.S. foreign aid is indirectly creating opportunities for U.S. exporters. Additionally, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti by securing efficient and reliable trade routes to other nearby African countries such as Ethiopia, in which the U.S. has key commercial interests.

Home to roughly 875,000 people, as well as a significant U.S., German, Japanese, French and most recently Chinese military presence, Djibouti has a decidedly disproportionate amount of foreign military within its borders. The U.S. pays $60 million each year to Djibouti for the rights to maintain its only permanent sub-Saharan military base.

But, U.S. foreign aid coming into the country is equally important in Djibouti for the majority of citizens looking for work. Although U.S. investment in the country pales in contrast to that of new entrants into the region such as China, the actual workforce of Djibouti is benefiting from the more nuanced and domestically-oriented U.S. foreign aid.

New ventures in the construction of ports, pipelines, international airports and railways have somewhat failed to raise the standard of living and stimulate employment. Accounting for 70 percent of GDP, the new port projects have only added a few thousand jobs. According to the U.N., despite recent Chinese soft loans toward these various infrastructure projects, the unemployment rate in Djibouti still stands at 60 percent.

This high level of unemployment is partly due to a lack of qualified candidates in many sectors of the economy. Workers looking for jobs simply do not have the necessary skills required to fill many of the possible vacancies.

Through the Workforce Development Project (WDP), the United States Agency for International Development and Djibouti are working together to reduce unemployment and create a more modern labor force. Investments of nearly $25 million over five years (2016-2021) are aimed at increasing competitiveness by tailoring the workforce to the needs of a modern economy.

The WDP emphasizes creating stronger connections between worker training programs and employers. Specifically, through more meaningful ties between vocational education centers and businesses, the future workforce will be better suited for the demands of firms and will likely have greater hiring potential.

Although not as flashy as the new Doraleh Port or the new electrified railroad connecting Djibouti City and Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the WDP will create thousands of new consumers to U.S. exports. This is especially promising since the soaring unemployment rate allows for ample economic improvements should this transformation of the workforce take place. USAID, centered on workforce assimilation, is therefore fostering job growth that will be more sustainable than temporary employment based on glitzy infrastructure projects.

Another way in which the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti is by promoting ongoing access to the substantial trade flows emanating from regional neighbors. A prime example of this is Ethiopia. Much of Ethiopia’s exports—including coffee, vegetables and cosmetics—are routed through Djibouti on their way to the U.S. Meanwhile, as of 2016, 90 percent of all Ethiopian imports were brought via ports in Djibouti.

U.S. foreign aid indirectly contributes to these regional trade routes of East Africa by creating a more prosperous and modernized workforce in Djibouti. A thriving, educated and healthy Djibouti society will undoubtedly increase the opportunities for cross-border trade.

One byproduct of this increasingly interconnected region around Djibouti would be more timely and reliable shipment of goods and lower associated transportation costs. As in Ethiopia, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti are amplified when stability across the wider East African region is maintained.

On this last issue, there is little doubt that the military presence plays a prominent role. However, U.S. programs aiming to reduce unemployment such as the WDP, by indirectly promoting a more sustainable domestic environment in Djibouti, also contribute to regional stability. Garnering less attention than the massive infrastructure spending, transforming the country one worker at a time will lead to continued U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti

– Nathan Ghelli

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Croatia
Fewer than 30 years ago, Croatia gained its independence from Yugoslavia, and now this newly independent country is working to find its place in the world economy. With assistance from the United States, not only can Croatia solidify a position, but also the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Croatia.

The United States’ Foreign Assistance

The United States currently spends approximately $3.4 million on foreign aid to Croatia, with the largest expense being $1.1 million going to military training, $1 million on foreign military financing, $850,000 on mine and explosive remnants of war, $274,000 on counterproliferation programs and $60,000 on humanitarian and civic assistance. This aid not only benefits Croatia but brings many benefits to the United States, including:

  1. Alliance in international organizations
  2. Opportunity for new markets for the U.S.
  3. Foreign aid to Croatia keeps the U.S. safe

International organizations such as the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), and the European Union (EU) are key institutions in coordinating foreign policy to create diplomatic relations and tie nations together.

Foreign Policy Gains

The United States actively supported Croatia’s induction to NATO in 2009, and Croatia’s inclusion to the EU in 2013. According to the U.S. Department of State, Croatia, as a part of these institutions, has taken part in peacekeeping missions in neighboring countries — a priority that aligns with the U.S.

Interestingly, it is also the sector where $3.3 million of foreign aid to Croatia is spent. The U.S. further benefits from this relationship because it gains an ally that can help implement foreign policy, be an outlet for new trade partners or target worldwide policy goals such as global warming.

Economic Benefits

The U.S.-Croatia relationship also opens new markets for U.S. This is arguably the most prominent benefit to the U.S. One of the goals that the U.S. supported upon Croatia’s independence was developing a market-oriented economy.

This support has so far held true and consistent. U.S. aid to Croatia has helped enable the country in becoming a leading partner is southeast Europe. With Croatia’s induction to the EU, the United States has gained another market opportunity for many overseas industries.

Additionally, the United States has been identified as a potential energy partner, which is particularly important given the current energy crisis in Europe.

Nonprofit Organizations and Global Allies

Foreign aid to Croatia comes not only through official government channels, but also through nonprofit organizations. For example, SOS Children’s Villages International sends humanitarian aid to Croatia from the U.S., with the goal of alleviating poverty and helping children and families flourish in the newly independent country.

This benefits the United States as the aid brings individuals in Croatia out of poverty and into educational outlets and the economy, enhancing economic opportunity for the United States.

Many of the top trading partners with the United States were once, or still are, foreign aid recipients, including China, Mexico and Brazil. While these nations receive less aid now, they still receive U.S. foreign aid and simultaneously act as great trading partners for the United States.

Interestingly, Croatia poses the same opportunity. As the nation develops its economy in a post-war era, there is opportunity for new trade opportunities for the U.S.; such a possibility highlights how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Croatia.

But, U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Croatia don’t end there. All of these factors — foreign aid, these relationships and numerous economic opportunities — all work together to keep America safe. Economic opportunity, increased government accountability and lessened poverty help create a more stable nation, and pose a lesser risk to both involved nations.

How the U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Croatia

Foreign aid creates diplomatic ties with other nations such as Croatia, and together can work to stop the spread of disease, terrorism and poverty, all of which pose threats to national security.

In one of The Borgen Project’s articles on the benefits of foreign aid, the organization posits a similar perspective to one referenced by Time Magazine — in a powerful statement by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, philanthropist and humanitarian: “[Foreign aid] represents less than 1 percent of the federal budget, not even a penny out of every dollar. It is some of the best return on investment anywhere in government.”

While the relationship between the United States and Croatia is still relatively new, U.S. foreign aid to Croatia is helping a nation to become a world player, while also benefiting the U.S. economically and politically.

– Katherine Kirker

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to South SudanSouth Sudan, declared the newest African country after receiving independence from Sudan in 2011, has been torn apart by civil war and its citizens are in need of foreign assistance now more than ever. Following the secession from Sudan, violent political uprisings in the capital of South Sudan, Juba, ignited civil war in December of 2013.

A Country Devastated by Conflict

The people of South Sudan are experiencing famine and a huge economic shift due to the cessation of oil exports, a lasting side effect of cutting ties with Sudan. Last year marked the country’s fourth year in civil war, and since then about two million people have been internally displaced and another two million sought refuge in other countries. Approximately 5.3 million people faced severe food insecurity in January of 2018, a 40 percent increase from last year.

The 2013 dispute was a result of tension between President Salva Kiir and ex-vice president, Riek Machar. President Kiir and Machar are part of two of South Sudan’s largest ethnic groups, the Dinka and the Nuer, respectively. The rivalry between the two ethnic groups runs deep; in 2013, Dinka members of the presidential guard attempted to disarm the Nuer members.

This resulted in an eruption of violence across the country, with many Nuers rebelling and seizing oil-producing land and other territory. There were more violent outbursts in July of 2016 and Machar went into exile thereafter. The political unrest has also spurred looting, civilian attacks, rape and torture, among other abuses.

How the U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to South Sudan

In addition to moral reasons, there are economic ways in which the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to South Sudan. Studies have shown that the U.S. is one of the highest donors to South Sudan, donating $887.5 million in 2017, although the country only gives about one percent of its budget toward foreign aid.

Another way in which the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to South Sudan is through security. Cutting aid may put the security of the United States at risk as well as jeopardize valuable relationships. Vulnerable states may easily fall under the control of people who do not operate within the best interest of the U.S. Foreign assistance can ward off potential threats. In the case of South Sudan, the country has plentiful oil reserves, which are also of value.

Good relationships with vulnerable states also provide trade opportunity, which may include job opportunities. In 2016, exported goods to South Sudan totaled to about $55 million and imports around $15 million. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, U.S. exports of goods to Sudan sustained about 400 jobs in 2015.

USAID’s Humanitarian Work

USAID has been working diligently to alleviate hunger and displacement, provide safe drinking water and begin other initiatives in South Sudan. Its Office of Food for Peace and its partner organizations have responded particularly through food and water intervention, providing assistance to about 1.4 million people per month, as 56 percent of the country’s population faced unrelenting hunger in 2017.

With organizations like USAID and donations from others, innocent civilians caught in violent political crossfire can start to rebuild their lives. By continuing to work toward a peaceful ending to this turmoil, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Sudan greatly.

– Camille Wilson

Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to Argentina
Aid to foreign countries is essential to help maintain stability and reduce poverty in countries that are struggling to achieve those goals on their own. However, foreign aid also benefits the United States: it increases national security, can expand the U.S. economy and help develop a relationship with a strategic ally.

Globally, each year the United States gives about $30 billion in foreign aid, a seemingly large number that actually amounts to only about 1 percent of the federal budget. Argentina is one recipient of money allotted in that budget, and there are numerous U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Argentina. In 2016, U.S. agencies gave $2.6 million in aid to Argentina, with half of the money coming from the Department of State.

According to the Department of State, U.S. foreign aid to Argentina works to increase stability and democracy, as well as increase support for non-proliferation and border security. Through aid and U.S. officials, the United States has established programs to train law enforcement and justice officials in Argentina. These programs increase Argentina’s ability to promote shared security interests, which is a benefit to the U.S.

The U.S. government is also working with Argentina to focus on peacekeeping and disaster preparedness. Further agreements between the countries are working to increase the shared knowledge between the U.S. and Argentina to improve security. These programs will enhance stability in Argentina and the broader region, and increase both travel security and border security in Argentina.

In addition to government aid, many United States corporations invest in Argentina’s businesses, making the U.S. the largest foreign investor in Argentina. These investments benefit the United States, as the U.S. is the second largest export destination for goods from Argentina. Argentina’s top exports include soybeans and corn, while top U.S. imports from Argentina include mineral fuel and oil, wine, food and aluminum. In the five years prior to 2016, exports of Argentina increased by more than 2 percent annually. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Argentina by importing a greater quantity of those goods.

On top of increased imports, U.S. corporations with business interests in Argentina employ more than 150,000 people across more than 500 companies. Both the United States and Argentina have goals of sustainable and balanced economic growth. To achieve those goals, the countries are working together through the help of U.S. investments and held the first meeting between the two governments on that topic in 2016.

Additionally, United States foreign aid to Argentina will help increase renewable energy technologies. Specific focuses are on changing and optimizing energy markets and integrating renewables into the existing power grid. Working to increase clean energy sources in Argentina will help achieve global goals of reducing harmful carbon emissions, a goal that is beneficial to all people regardless of national identity.

Cooperation between the U.S. and Argentina is vital in achieving global goals for the United States. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Argentina by maintaining a relationship that helps people of both countries and grows both economies, which leads to an overall more stable world.

– Hayley Herzog

Photo: Flickr

Decreasing global poverty can help increase global healthNearly half of the world’s population lives in poverty. Millions of people die every year from diseases brought on by starvation and dehydration. Many people in impoverished countries lack adequate food security and clean drinking water, which leads to rampaging water and foodborne diseases.

In many ways, bringing healthier, more sanitary conditions to impoverished countries can not only reduce poverty but also improve national health. When people are forced to live in unsanitary conditions with little to no medical care, diseases run rampant. Many of the diseases that are most common in impoverished areas can be easily prevented.

Decreasing global poverty is the top priority of many of the world’s leading health organizations. Decreasing global poverty can help increase global health.

Unsafe Drinking Water and Waterborne Diseases

Waterborne diseases are extremely common in impoverished areas, such as diarrhea, cholera, salmonella and hepatitis A. Easily contracted, waterborne diseases are caused by microorganisms entering the body from contaminated water.

In the past, Bhutan was considered to have some of the worst drinking water in the world. Many disease outbreaks have occurred in the country, such as bacterial diarrhea and typhoid fever, resulting in high mortality rates. However, in the last decade, the Bhutanese have made substantial efforts to improve their water supply. As of 2015, 100 percent of Bhutan’s people had access to improved drinking water sources. This has grown life expectancy in the country from 64.1 years in 2005 to 69.8 years in 2015.

Malnutrition and Vitamin Deficiency

The human body needs to take in a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients daily to sustain itself. In many impoverished countries, food security is nearly nonexistent. Also, many people in these areas suffer from a lack of resources, a lack of stable income and a lack of product.

Malnutrition can lead to a variety of diseases, including scurvy, rickets and pellagra. In many poverty-stricken countries, such as India, malnutrition is responsible for more than 15 percent of the disease burden. Since India has such a high poverty rate, many people do not have the funds or resources needed for quality nutrition.

This leads to a decrease in strength and a deficient immune system. India has been victim to many disease outbreaks over the years, most recently with the Zika virus in 2017. Malnutrition in India is most commonly seen in children under the age of five.

Over the last decade, India has steadily been getting richer, through poverty is still prevalent. With a decrease in the difference between classes and a more stable economy, India will be able to attain sustainable agriculture. This will increase food security in the country and decrease malnutrition. With stronger, healthier people, many countries can start decreasing global poverty.

Decreasing Global Poverty Leads to Better Living Conditions

By decreasing poverty in heavily stricken areas, living conditions will improve. People will be able to better financially support themselves and afford proper food, which will decrease malnutrition.

Decreasing global poverty can help increase global health. The two go hand in hand. By giving people more opportunities and ways to better themselves and their environment, we can continue decreasing global poverty and create a healthier world.

– Courtney Wallace

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Cambodia
In light of recent political events and President Trump’s “America First” agenda, many politicians are considering cutting spending on U.S. foreign aid. However, there are a number of ways that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Cambodia, making foreign aid a wise investment. United States foreign aid to Cambodia is a very complex issue and must be treated as such.

The United States, by providing aid to foreign countries, fosters stability, revitalization and cooperation all over the world. Many countries compete to gain diplomatic and political influence around the globe through foreign aid spending. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Cambodia include fighting global warming and preventing the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. Not only are these efforts morally good, they protect United States citizens from epidemics and disasters while stabilizing the economies and governmental relations of many countries around the globe.

Cambodia has been ravaged by wars, corruption and poverty in recent years. United States foreign aid has been effective at stabilizing the country, and since economic conditions have normalized, the United States has become the largest purchaser of Cambodian exports in the world. In 2017, the United States spent $88.52 million in Cambodia on foreign aid for health, education, economic growth, security, environmental protection and governance. Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), many improvements have been made in Cambodia through the disbursement of foreign aid.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Cambodia have manifested in preventing the spread of diseases, reducing crime and fostering economic development. An example of a program run by USAID in Cambodia is the ASSIST Project, in which the United States provides funding and advisors from health-related professions, ensuring that business models and medical practices are effective.

USAID also funds other programs such as the Country Development Cooperation Strategy to utilize resources that provide education and resources for a more efficient democracy in Cambodia. By promoting a stable government, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Cambodia by reducing the risk of war or other conflicts that could involve the U.S. military or put American citizens in danger.

U.S. foreign aid also helps build schools for children to learn other languages, increase government involvement and promote human rights and civil liberties in Cambodia. Cambodians have also seen improvements in their health services, a reduction in preventable deaths and a rise in literacy rates as a result of U.S. foreign aid. Because of these improvements, Cambodians are better able to participate in the economy, which allows U.S.-Cambodian trade to continue to grow.

In conclusion, while foreign aid may seem like an unnecessary expense in modern times, it may be one of the most needed expenses our government has today. The people of Cambodia not only rely upon the United States for foreign aid, but reward the U.S. with cooperation and trade in return. For the people of Cambodia and many other countries around the world, U.S. foreign aid is an investment on which they depend on and one which the United States cannot afford to overlook.

– Dalton Westfall

Photo: Flickr

Relations with the United States and Chad began in 1960 following its independence from France. Over the past few decades, Chad has emerged from a half-century of regional conflicts and internal turmoil to pursue better governance and development. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad by recognizing the significant steps the country has taken after decades of instability.

The United States and Chad

The U.S. has supported the Chadian government in committing to more regional stability and security, and promoting human rights and the rule of law. The U.S. government hopes to pursue these goals through the State Department, diplomatic engagement and multilateral, regional and bilateral assistance programs.

Today, over half of Chad’s population lives in poverty and has experienced decades of conflict and instability. Chadians face one of the highest rates of maternal mortality, high infant mortality and life expectancies of fewer than 50 years in the world. Many of Chadians are food-insecure, meaning they do not have consistent access to the food they need for basic nutrition.

To address these issues, USAID has partnered with the U.N. World Food Program to distribute food to those in need. Also, the organization aids in providing money to hungry families and aid farmers by getting the seeds they need to produce more food.

U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to Chad

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad by being its 95th largest goods trading partner with $931 million in total goods in 2016, and goods exported totaling $33 million. Chad was the United States’ 176th largest goods export, and top export categories included vehicles, machinery and electrical machinery.

U.S. total exports of agricultural products to Chad totaled $1 million, and Chad was the U.S.’s 78th largest supplier of goods imports in 2016; interestingly, U.S. goods imports from Chad totaled $899 million in 2016, down 31.1 percent from 2015. The U.S does not have an investment treaty or bilateral tax agreement with Chad, which is a partnership that could lead to better U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad in the future.

Uncertain Partnership

Recently, the Trump administration included Chad in Presidential Proclamation 9645 restricting travel from Chadians. The decision to include Chad in the “travel ban” occurred over the objections of the Pentagon and State Department.

Chad has been one of America’s more reliable counterterrorism allies in Africa. Chad has battled Islamic terrorists in the region, including offshoots of Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. Chad’s military has worked closely with Americans, playing host to exercises conducted by the United States.

Over the past decades, many top U.S military officials have talked about the importance of foreign aid and how it strengthens relations with countries around the world and national security. In 2011, senior Pentagon officials — including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Director of the CIA — argued before Congress in halting proposed cuts to America’s foreign aid budget.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Chad by having a reliable ally in Africa to fight terrorism in the region and a strong trade partner to increase both nations’ economies. It remains to be seen how relations between Chad and the United States continue, but whatever the outcome, peaceful conversations are always preferable.

– Zak Ott

Photo: Flickr