Letter: We should still care about global poverty | SteamboatToday.com
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Letter: We should still care about global poverty

It’s no secret that the global pandemic has affected people in every part of the world, putting a halt to what we call normal life. Gratefully, in the United States we can wash our hands freely, apply for unemployment, have access to some aspect of healthcare and safely social distance.

For the billions of workers in poorer countries who were already barely scraping by, there are none of these safety nets. In some of the most rural communities, there is no running water or comfortable places to spend several weeks in quarantine.

According to research and estimates by the United Nations University’s World Institute for Development Economics Research, COVID-19 could set global poverty back up to 30 years in some places​. Addressing this scary fact could help not only end the pandemic quicker by limiting the spread and health implications, but it can also help us understand how global poverty can affect us directly. As developing countries face setbacks, an increase in conflict, government instability and GDP’s sinking can affect our own economy and consumerism.

We can overcome this difficult time by working with our leaders to create a unified front against the pandemic. As the U.S. discusses cutting nearly 22% of the funding for the International Affairs Budget, nonprofits like The Borgen Project are urging U.S. Congress to support at least $12 billion in the next emergency supplemental to fight COVID-19. The International Affairs Budget pays for a wide range of U.S. diplomatic and development activities globally. One the main focuses of the budget currently is global health and addressing the impacts of coronavirus.

As a student and supporter of the anti-poverty efforts of The Borgen Project, I urge people to see this pandemic as one that affects more than just our country.

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Leah Caragol
Steamboat Springs


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