Skills workshops are just one of the ways
children in need can break out of generational poverty.
When Typhoon Haiyan brought utter destruction to parts
of the Philippines in early November, it forced many to turn their attention to
foreign aid and its role in helping countries recover from natural disasters.
As government officials from countries affected by disasters seek outside
support and donations pour in from all around the world, many questions arise
about the nature of foreign aid, and it's not uncommon for knowledge or
perceptions to be impacted by these global emergencies.
Although donating to emergency funds
is essential after tragedies like Typhoon Haiyan, these catastrophic events
also represent an opportunity to learn more about U.S. foreign aid, as well as
ways in which you can personally help a child living in extreme poverty.
American Attitudes on Aid
The Kaiser Family Foundation recently
released the findings of its 2013
Survey of Americans on the U.S. Role in Global Health. With a goal of
examining the general attitude and perception on American foreign aid, this
survey asked more than 1,500 adults questions about U.S. spending on foreign
aid and global health issues in August 2013.
One of the survey's most
striking findings is how much Americans overestimate the amount of our nation's
budget that is allocated toward foreign aid. On average, respondents said that
28 percent of the U.S. annual budget is dedicated to assisting other countries,
when it's actually 1 percent or less. Only 4 percent of respondents answered
this question correctly.
That misconception and other obstacles keep
many Americans from supporting foreign aid, according to the report. Decreased
media visibility of international needs — particularly in the weeks,
months and years after a natural disaster — and economic problems in
the United States can cause wariness on the part of American citizens.
But Americans voiced greater support of foreign aid when they knew the
specific purpose of the funding, like health care for people living in poverty.
Respondents to the survey say that improving
health care in developing countries, offering medical support, protecting human
rights and fighting global terrorism are all significant goals.
than half of all respondents answered that improving access to clean water,
reducing hunger and malnutrition, and enhancing children's health care,
including making vaccinations more widely available, are top priorities within
the sphere of global health. Additionally, 40 percent of Americans or more say
that the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS, as well as the prevention of
global pandemic diseases and the construction of better health care facilities,
are important programs to consider when distributing U.S. foreign aid.
More Help is Needed
Because U.S. foreign aid does not begin to
address the vast amount of need in developing nations, children and families
living in poverty rely on nongovernmental organizations like ChildFund for
assistance. The need for nutritious food, clean water, lifesaving health care
and educational opportunities is overwhelming in many developing nations.
There are many ways you can join forces with ChildFund to help children in
need and their families. To help a child today, please consider making a
donation to our Children's Greatest Needs
fund. With your support, we can aid children in poverty all over the world
by allocating funds where the need is the greatest.