According to Tamela Noboa of the Baltimore Sun, foreign aid makes up less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget. As with many countries around the world, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ghana, and these benefits could be multiplied if the U.S. contributes more to its foreign aid budget.
The U.S. always had an unofficial relationship with Ghana in supporting refinements of its power sector, strengthening healthcare and expanding access to education. Ghana possesses a level of dependency upon assistance given to it by the U.S., a dependence by which a cut in foreign aid could further hinder the country’s development. Since foreign assistance makes up such a minimal amount of the U.S. budget, increasing the amount of foreign aid would advance both countries.
The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ghana in these ways:
- Epidemics such as Ebola can be minimized and contained away from U.S. borders. According to David Ofori-Adjedi and Kwadwo Koram in an article for the Ghana Medical Journal, the possibility of the Ebola virus appearing in Ghana was high, due to the continuous presence of the virus in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in 2014. The likelihood of Ebola spreading in Ghana stems from its ability to manage an outbreak if it arises. As Bill Gates pointed out in an op-ed for Time, using foreign aid to ensure that countries such as Ghana are prepared to address an outbreak can keep it from spreading globally.
- The U.S. Embassy in Ghana believes that foreign aid contributes to strengthening cultural relationships for stable networking. For instance, foreign aid reinforces markets for U.S. products, opening up possibilities for future partnerships.
- Continuing foreign aid distribution to countries like Ghana contributes to sustainable change that aims to improve countries on a systemic level, allowing the country to further develop and eventually lessen its need for foreign aid.
- Investing in foreign countries creates the opportunity for nations like Ghana to invest back in the U.S., creating jobs across the country.
According to the U.S. Department of State, Ghana is currently facing a $1.5 billion shortfall in its funding for infrastructure projects. Continued support of these needs through foreign aid can ensure that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ghana by helping the country reach its potential and become a bigger participant in the global economy.
– Christopher Shipman