The Borgen Project is an ally for the world’s poor. The organization works within American public policy to fight for equality by providing food, healthcare, education, and community infrastructure for communities in poverty abroad. The Borgen Project is comprised of thousands of servants from all walks of life. The group specifically focuses on global food security; food aid reform; newborn, child, and mother survival; and access to clean water, sanitation, and power.
The Borgen Project began when Clint Borgen was a volunteer in Kosovo refugee camps. He saw the need for an organization that could bring extreme poverty to the attention of U.S. policy makers. After graduating from Washington State University and interning with the United Nations, Mr. Borgen worked on a fishing vessel to fund his new startup. Today, the Borgen Project is a national campaign with volunteers in 754 U.S. cities.
According to Mr. Borgen, the United States is not doing enough to address global poverty. The United States is typically ranked second to last in giving aid to address global poverty among wealthy nations. We give more to our largest defense contractor than to all of our assistance to developing countries. The U.S. spends six billion on each aircraft carrier, but the budget of the World Food Program, the largest relief agency program on the planet, is only four billion.
Why should we give more foreign aid to the world's poor?
Addressing global poverty improves the economy and creates jobs in the United States. As international poverty declines, more people will be able to buy products created in the United States. Twenty per cent of U.S. jobs are export-based and fifty per cent of our exports now go to developing nations. Nearly all of our top trading partners, including Germany and South Korea, were once recipients of our foreign aid. Finally, Foreign Policy Magazine denotes the world’s poor as the largest untapped market on earth.
Addressing global poverty also improves national security. U.S. aid to foreign countries makes it safer for American citizens to travel to other nations, according to Chris Borgen. The United States National Security Strategy includes development of countries as part of the Pentagon’s “3Ds” (Defense, Development, and Diplomacy). 84% of military officers said that increasing diplomacy and development efforts should be at least equal to strengthening military defense efforts. The National Security Strategy of the U.S. states “The United States has an interest in working with our allies to help the world’s poorest countries grow into productive and prosperous economies governed by capable, democratic, and accountable state institutions. We will ensure a greater and more deliberate focus on a global development agenda across the United States Government, from policy analysis through policy implementation.”
What does foreign aid do for the world's poor?
Over the past twenty years, malnutrition has been decreased by half, polio has been almost eradicated, and there are no longer any cases of smallpox in the world. In addition, there are many incredible new inventions which quickly and cheaply improve the quality of life for those living in extreme poverty. Many of these innovations focus on water, from solar-powered irrigation and the Hippo Roller, to the Life Straw. Other innovations focus on food, such as HotPot solar ovens and the Plumpy’nut, a paste of peanut butter, milk, and vitamins and minerals which can nurse a toddler back to health from starvation in 2-4 weeks. Other innovations include improvements in vaccination, waste to fertilizer methods, and mosquito protection.
$1 billion in global health funding accomplishes the following:
How can we be a part of poverty-reduction legislation as individuals?
One thing we can all do to support poverty-reduction bills is to call and e-mail congressional leaders because their staff keep track of every issue that constituents call, write or email their representative about. This information is compiled into a weekly report viewed by the representative. Therefore, our individual voice is powerful, as our contact will get the issue or bill on my representative’s radar. Through this link, you can easily and quickly send a letter written by the Borgen Project on your behalf to your Congressional representatives on a variety of important issues and legislation.