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10 reasons the U.S. should participate in foreign aid

Even in the United States’ early years as a new country, our leaders have been arguing over our nation’s involvement in foreign aid. The best interest of the United States has often been the top priority in debates regarding the country’s involvement in foreign affairs. Though it is worth consideration that by assisting in the development of the world, the United States is able to participate in the benefits.

The United States is a developed country. In 2018, America had the leading Gross Domestic Product at 20,865,462, which is around 24 percent of the world’s GDP and double the amount of China (13,457,267). And yet the country spends only a small fraction on foreign aid.

“US foreign aid is a tiny share of the country’s GDP 0.1% to 0.2% and thus the cost to the country is quite low even though the popular impression is that the figure is very large,” said Dwight Perkins, professor of political economy at Harvard University. The country stands to give – and gain – a lot from investing in foreign aid as well.

Here are several reasons why participating in foreign aid would be a good idea for the United States:

  1. Foreign aid improves the world’s health

Foreign aid allows the United States. also does its duty to minimize any possible health issues and diseases from traveling overseas or across borders, like the current virus causing countries to lockdown. Chipping in to improve the health conditions in a developing population will improve the quality of health around the world, particularly with HIV/AIDS. USAID  Supported training for more than 250,000 healthcare workers to deliver HIV and other health services.

2. Foreign aid strengthens the global economy

While it may be typical to consider money lost when assisting with foreign aid, there is money to be gained as well. An educated, food-secure and healthy population is much more likely to participate in the world economy than a population that is not. And a population that is participating in the world’s economy is something the United States can benefit from.

3. Foreign aid helps the with trade

Foreign aid is an investment – it helps to create the foundation needed for developing countries to build up and become workable states. According to Professor Perkins, this type of foreign aid is designed to provide technical assistance to less developed countries to help them manage their economies and societies better. That promotes political stability and economic growth in those countries and that is important for the US for its own sake but it also may have some impact on US trade.

“Foreign direct investment as contrasted to foreign aid is generally more important in promoting trade than foreign aid but the latter does have some positive influence on trade,” said Perkins.

4. Foreign aid expands educational opportunities

It has been proven by research that countries receiving aid will see an increase in enrollment. UNICEF alone has helped enroll 100 million more children around the world in primary/secondary schools as of 2017.

5. Foreign aid can help the environment

Here’s how it works: foreign aid creates a diversity in energy sources. Diversification of energy sources means new jobs and resources for everyone. As the global economy grows, harmful emissions will go down.

6. Foreign aid helps with national security

Keeping stability in developing countries is crucial to preventing political issues and battles. By participating in foreign aid, the citizens of the United States can sleep a little easier knowing their countries’ security is growing.

7. Foreign aid inspires innovation

Take a leaf out of Bill Gates’s book – the Microsoft company is responsible for the startup and funding for several products that wouldn’t have been developed otherwise. The Cardiopad, a touchpad device for heart exams and a serious development in medical technology, was invented in Cameroon.

8. Foreign aid decreases terrorist attacks

Terrorist groups are more common in impoverished regions, luring people in with the promise of money, resources and comfort. If foreign aid provides those resources first, it can decrease the number of people involved in terrorist organizations.

9. Foreign aid promotes equality

It’s less common for women to have successful careers while maintaining their home lives, due to poverty and lack of education. Reducing poverty gives women access to education and healthcare, greatly improving their social independence on top of their financial situations.

10. Foreign aid inspires hope in those with little

Though some may argue it’s not the job of the United States to get involved in other countries’ affairs, it is the job of every nation to protect our world and ensure its’ success. Even a small step towards improving a developing country is what motivates these nations to keep going. Installing hope is the most effective way to keep our world moving forward.


Drake Broadcasting Systems Adjusting to Remote Campus

Keeping programs running during social distancing

By Celia Brocker, May 2020

Despite months of planning, the Drake Broadcasting System (DBS) has had to rethink its coverage of the Drake Relays after it was announced the event was postponed until June due to concerns over COVID-19. 

The Drake Relays are without a doubt the biggest event hosted by Drake University every year. It takes months of preparation, and people come from all over to compete in the track events. 

Other organizations like DBS also put in significant work to prepare for the Relays, planning coverage of the event for those who cannot attend. 

DBS is one of Drake’s student-led media groups, helping students gain more experience in practicing journalism. DBS involves video production, radio streaming, podcasting and more. But since Drake has moved to virtual learning to prevent spreading Covid-19, DBS’s coverage plan has to adapt to the current climate, including their coverage of the Drake Relays. 

“Given that our broadcasts require large casts and crews, we are going to take a substantial hit in involvement over the summer as most students will no longer be in Des Moines,” DBS President Lucius Pham said. “We are trying to adapt to the changes and, while we might not have our conventional broadcasts, we’ll still try and keep some content rolling.”

During the Relays, DBS becomes more active than ever, since they have a larger audience to reach. According to Ty Patton, the assistant athletic director of Drake University, 40,000 fans on average come to the Drake Stadium gates that week to celebrate the competition. 

“It is one of the biggest annual events in Des Moines that attracts a wide range of fans and visitors, from friends and families of competitors, track fans, alumni and the community as a whole,” Patton said. “Coverage from a media perspective helps highlight the city of Des Moines, Iowa and Drake University as a whole.”

The athletes themselves also benefit, since they receive a great deal of support and recognition, something they may not have received without media coverage. 

“Media reports are often viewed as the first draft of history, and history is made every day during the Relays,” Patton said. “Coverage can provide nuance and background to how and why an athlete was able to set a national record that the sheet with the results cannot adequately show.”

Since the Relays, initially scheduled for April, have been postponed until this summer (the date is still to be determined), DBS has had to re-plan their broadcasts without the Relays. And because learning has gone remote, there is an added challenge. 

“DBS relies heavily on on-campus involvement in collaborative projects such as videos and live-studio productions,” Pham said. “Additionally, many students won’t have access to radio booths in their homes, but we’re still trying to field and publish as much content as we can remotely.”

DBS has needed to put a lot of time and effort during Relays week in the past to produce the best content possible. The biggest time commitment is the pre-show broadcasts leading up to the Relays, where DBS tries to get competing and visiting athletes on their shows. 

Drake senior and former DBS President Adam Heater has been involved with the program since his first year at Drake, and has firsthand experience of the opportunities Drake students earn covering the Relays, including meeting famous athletes. Heater was able to get an Olympian on one the DBS programs –  Georganne Moline, a competitor in the 2012 Olympic games for the 400 meter hurdles. 

“That was the most surreal experience, getting to meet the people who are actually going to compete the next day,” Heater said. 

DBS provides students with lots of opportunities to practice and improve their skills in the field, and not just during the Relays. Despite the current situation, the doors are still open for students to get involved with DBS. 

“Students wanting to innovate and create content remotely over this period should definitely get involved with DBS and we can make something happen,” Pham said. 

To find out more about DBS or get involved with the origination, find them on social media or reach out via email.



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