Letter: The importance of foreign aid

Friday, June 09, 2017
The importance of foreign aid

I recently sat in on a webinar in which Carolyn Miles, the president and CEO of Save the Children, described a trip she recently took to Somaliland, where a drought has taken a massive toll on food production.

Without livestock, water and other important resources, families and children are starving. Miles described one child, a 4-year-old weighing only 14 pounds – typically the weight of a 4-month-old. She said the little girl was distraught, and when she first came for help from Save the Children, she was completely listless. Luckily, Save the Children staff were able to provide the care she needed and she was able to leave with her mother.

People who are severely malnourished need specific care in their fragile state. In addition to water, they need special foods, like Plumpy’Nut, a peanut-based paste developed to treat malnutrition. Some even need intravenous treatments. At only one percent of the federal budget, foreign aid provides critical resources and saves lives, like the one of the little girl Miles met.

That’s why it’s crucial to let Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Reps. Ann Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter know that we support life-saving foreign aid.

If President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts become a reality, countless children will starve or remain malnourished without our help. There’s nothing those cuts could buy that’s more important than saving innocent lives.