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U.S. can do much more to address global poverty

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday U.S. foreign aid to Honduras and other countries was at risk unless they stop a so-called caravan of more than 1,200 Central American migrants headed to the U.S. border with Mexico.

There is nothing complicated about improving living conditions for people suffering in abject poverty. Global poverty as an American foreign policy has drastically reduced in recent years and there are countless success stories of conditions being improved for families, villages and entire countries.

So why isn’t the United States doing more to address global poverty? The general public drastically overestimates what is being done to address global poverty. Americans incorrectly estimate that 20 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. In reality, less than 1 percent goes to assisting the world’s poor. For political pressure to rise, we need to be aware of our shortcomings (“Attorney General Frosh sues President Trump over national emergency, says Maryland could lose millions,” Feb. 18).

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The U.S. should be preventing 25,000 children from dying each day because the U.S. absolutely can prevent 25,000 children from dying each day. But beyond the humanitarian perspective, the United States has a strategic interest in improving the plight of the world’s poor. We need to be aware of the economic, national security and diplomatic incentives for strong U.S. leadership in addressing global poverty, such as increased export dollars flowing into our country from markets in developing countries.

Isaac Echeverri, Simpsonville, S.C.

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