When we think of U.S. diplomacy, we often think of meetings between the U.S. and other countries’ leaders. It’s high-level and important and receives media coverage. What we don’t think about when we think of diplomacy are the U.S. agencies that operate in other countries on a daily basis.
One of these is USAID. They distribute humanitarian and developmental aid to several countries. One program they administer is food aid. Bought from U.S. farmers and international markets, this aid makes its way to many people affected by natural and political disasters. And right now, the coronavirus is threatening many countries worldwide with hunger and instability.
You might think that foreign aid has little value to the U.S. or that it’s a drain on the budget. However, foreign aid can actually be an investment in stability. As more than 120 former generals and admirals wrote in 2017, “development agencies are critical to preventing conflict and reducing the need to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.”
Organizations like The Borgen Project fight to keep aid funds alive and benefiting the U.S. Let’s hope our Congressional representatives will do the same.