Letter: Funding foreign assistance programs will help us here

From: Ann Jones


From Ebola to Zika, America has faced several threats from foreign diseases in the past few years. Diseases don’t respect borders, and the increasingly interconnected world makes it easier for deadly viruses to spread. The Ebola outbreak reached us because local and regional health systems in West Africa weren’t strong enough to stop it at the source.

We can prevent diseases like AIDS, Zika and Ebola from spreading to America by helping developing nations defeat these diseases on their soil.

Helping developing countries fortify their health systems will also reduce the need for aid in those nations. Every dollar invested in global health yields a return of $10 to $20 in economic benefit. Foreign assistance empowers poor countries to build up their health systems and helps ensure that deadly outbreaks don’t reach America’s shores.

Foreign aid helps communities lift themselves up by enabling education and agriculture while combating preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS. Sens. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Todd Young, R-Ind., should act to make sure life-saving, foreign assistance programs are fully funded.